Studio profile: Riot Games

Studio profile: Riot Games

  • Founded 2006
  • Location Dublin
  • Employees 50+ by the end of the year
  • Key staff Brandon Beck, CEO; Marc Merrill, president; Scott Gelb, VP of technology
  • URL
  • Selected softography League Of Legends
  • Current projects League Of Legends Dominion

Riot Games’ multiplayer online battle arena game League Of Legends had, at the last count, 15 million registered users and sees an average of 1.4 million players every day. With new game mode Dominion on the horizon, those numbers are only set to grow. Though you might be surprised to learn that Riot is much more concerned with keeping its existing players happy than bringing new ones on board.

At one point there were so many players clamouring to play LOL that there was a queue of several hours. But no one-arm-bandit-style dollar signs came to rest in the company’s collective eyes, rather a look of sincere parental concern.

General manager Mirko Gozzo and European marketing manager Jennifer Siclari

“Another company might think: ‘Bring in more revenue, with customisation options and skins,’” general manager Mirko Gozzo tells us. “But we didn’t do that – we slowed down our advertising and focused on making sure that players were able to play. Adding a second European platform was a major capital investment, but in the long term, because our players are satisfied, we strongly believe it was the right approach. If you do something for the player, short term it might not make sense financially, but long term it will make complete sense.”

Gozzo pauses before continuing: “Many companies can offer a good product, not as many can offer a good service with frequent updates – especially online. Lots of companies will claim they want to make the biggest online game in the world, but we want to be the most player-focused. That means putting the satisfaction of our players before short-term business interests. When we make decisions, we don’t normally look at the cost, we look at what our players want.”