Riot Games president and cofounder Marc Merrill has spoken out to defend his company against accusations of greed concerning the hugely popular free-to-play game League of Legends. Writing on Reddit in a thread where users complained about the lack of a new client for League of Legends Season 4, Merrill denied that Riot is "money hungry."
"It's pretty frustrating when people try to position us as greedy," Merrill started off. "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."
Merrill further claims that League of Legends is in fact a tremendous deal when looking at the "entertainment-per-hour" factor that the game affords. "If you compare the price of League of Legends entertainment per hour to every other form of media, we're the lowest around."
Another example that proves Riot is not a greedy company, Merrill said, comes down to the company's investment in the burgeoning eSports scene.
"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," he said.
Furthermore, Merrill said that executives at Riot Games are gamers through and through.
"We play the sh** out of League of Legends. When servers go down, we flip out. When we don't deliver on something we promised, we flip out (Magma chamber where?) and change the world internally," he said. "When we overreach on legal language with eSports contracts to prevent competitors from paying our pros to promote their games, we acknowledge the error and change it immediately."
Merrill also said that most game companies focus on metrics like average revenue per user (ARPU), but Riot Games does the opposite. "We train our entire company to drive towards engagement," he said. "Meaning, make cool sh** and deliver value. And if people play enough because they love what we do, then they will want to spend money."
Merrill ended his note by emphatically disagreeing that Riot places a desire for money ahead of an ambition to make great games.
"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," he said.
"So, thanks for the additional reminder we need to do better at explaining who we are. But f**k 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."