One thing that I’ve always admired about Riot Games is of the high amount of their developers being active on the League of Legends reddit page.
You’ll frequently find them participating in threads and can even expect a swift reply when calling out to someone in particular.
In most cases this proves to be a great way for the community to interact with the developers, hand out feedback, ask questions and more. However, there are times when a developer will have to speak his mind.
In this case, it was Marc ‘Tryndamere’ Merrill, the President of Riot Games who responded to a thread labeling the studio as ‘greedy’ because they have yet to release a fan-demanded new client.
The thread initially asked about the status of a new client, which then escalated into a finger-pointing war that blamed Riot for not wanting to spend money on hiring new staff to work on the client.
“Greedy how?” Merrill retorted in a post he dubbed ‘How Riot Thinks About Making Money’. “You do not have to spend money [in League of Legends], it is completely opt-in.” “There are millions upon millions” who play the game entirely for free, he insisted.
Moving on to their eSports division, he reminded everyone of their ad-free HD streams.
“Most game businesses focus on metrics like ARPU (average revenue per user) and try to build their entire companies and organisations around optimising for driving to a sale (think Zynga). We do the OPPOSITE,” he went on.
“We train our entire company to drive towards ENGAGEMENT, meaning MAKE COOL S*** and deliver VALUE, and if people PLAY enough because they love what we do, then they will WANT to spend money.
“Our focus is entirely different.
“So, no offense,” he said, “but I completely disagree with your greed accusation and yes, it pisses me off because I’ve spent the last eight years of my life building this company, game and team to deliver great value and to treat players well.
“So, thanks for the additional reminder we need to do better at explaining who we are. But F*** me if I don’t allow a little emotion to slip in when the takeaway is so utterly wrong for who we are as a company.”