Marc Merill, president of League of Legends developer Riot Games, has hit back in a Reddit post at critics that suggested he and his company are greedy in their business practices, citing many reasons why that's not the case and simply the fact that he and his main partner and Riot co-founder, Brandon Beck, are gamers.
“It's pretty frustrating when people try to position us as greedy, because look at it from our perspective,” he said, listing five big reasons why that's not the case:
- We build pretty much the first successful free online game in the west that core gamers actually really like and play
- We did this by building a really fun game, constantly investing over and over to grow and improve this game and by NOT selling power or being money hungry. If you compare the price of League of Legends entertainment per hour to every other form of media, we're the lowest around (we should probably commission a study to explain this), but the easiest examples to think of are: movies, magazines, books, box games, etc. $60 for 10 hours, woo!
- Millions upon millions of our players spend zero dollars on league and enjoy it endlessly. We're COMPLETELY OK with this. Greedy how? You do not have to spend money, it is completely opt-in.
- We spend tens of millions of dollars building a pro-esports scene to help some of our best players become global superstars who make hundreds of thousands of dollars (or a million like Ocelote).
- We build a TV show that also costs millions and we run ZERO ads on it to deliver a great experience to our players, entirely free
Ultimately he said, since him and his business partner Beck are gamers, that love playing League as much as anyone (they even get mad when the servers go down) and because of that there's no way they are in this for the money. That's quite believable at this point, since reportedly the pair netted several hundred million dollars when Chinese publisher Tencent bought a majority stake in Riot back in 2011.
Going forward, he says Riot plans to focus on delivering quality content, not doing what other companies (he name drops Zynga here) do where the most important thing to them is increasing the average revenue per user.
“So, no offense – but I completely disagree with your greed accusation and yes, it pisses me off because I've spent the last 8 years of my life building this company, game and team to deliver great value and to treat players well.”
KitGuru Says: Fair enough sir. Fair enough.