New York-based business publication Inc. magazine has bestowed Riot Games with its annual Company of the Year award for 2016.
An announcement made on its official website takes into account the sheer dedication that consumers are putting in for the company’s product, League of Legends. The free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena is already the most popular game on the planet and its following continues to grow with time.
Inc. highlights the fact that on average a single League of Legends player spends over 30 hours in the game on a monthly basis. With over 100 million players actively playing League of Legends every month, the average time spent in the game every month comes about to three billion gameplay hours. That’s not only impressive but also scary for competitors trying to carve out plans to snatch a piece of Riot Games’ pie.
Inc. points out that League of Legends — and its esports element — is not mass market. Rather it’s a massive niche that Riot Games has successfully tapped into. As such, there’s always the possibility of a new game arriving in the future that garners a similar crazed following. However, here lies one challenge that the business publication states Riot Games has successfully overcome. That is understanding your consumers, reaching out and listening to them.
“The next great challenge for business is understanding how to reach them and talk to them, and Riot is out on those frontlines,” states Inc..
Riot Games’ founders Brandon “Ryze” Beck and Marc “Tryndamere” Merrill share Inc.’s view of League of Legends thriving in one massive niche. In an interview a couple of months back, Beck mentioned that the initial idea was to only appeal to a specific niche. The game’s global acceptance and ever-growing popularity was unexpected for both of them.
This is not the first prestigious award for Riot Games. The American video game developer, publisher, and esports organizer has previously been named in Fortune’s top list of companies to work for in both 2015 and 2016.