Riot Games Inc.
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Riot Games is an American publisher of games in Santa Monica, California. Established in 2006. Riot Games launched the stand-alone title League of Legends as its first title in October 2009.
History of Riot Games
Riot Games, Inc. was founded in 2006 by Brandon "Ryze" Beck, and Marc "Tryndamere" Merrill with the goal of being a player-focused game development studio. The company launched its debut title League of Legends in October 2009 On May 1, 2012, Riot Games announced its Season 2 Championship with a $2,000,000 prize pool.
Some of their notable employees include Steve "Guinsoo" Feak, a former developer of the Warcraft 3 custom map Defense of the Ancients and Steve "Snapdragon" Mescon, creator of the Defense of the Ancients fan site, DotA-Allstars.com. Riot Games also employs about a dozen former Blizzard developers, including Tom Cadwell.
In a release published in November 2012, Riot Games claimed that League of Legends had accumulated 32.5 million players, 11.5 million of whom play monthly, of which 4.2 million play daily. In March 2012, League of Legends became the #1 title in Korean PC Cafes. In Taiwan, it is estimated that almost 5 percent of their entire population played the game, with almost 1 million players subscribed on the server. Dedicated players and Riot Games staff often meet at tournaments and all Riot staff are encouraged to post in the League of Legends forums, a policy that helps company employees maintain strong connections with the community. At tournaments, panels are held by the staff and memorabilia is handed out to reward the company's most loyal fans for their support. Marc "Tryndamere" Merrill, Riot's president, answered questions from the League of Legends community in an AMA on Reddit on May 3, 2012. Many players have also started streaming their gameplay for the enjoyment of the community to see what happens at different skill levels throughout the game.
Riot Games obtained around US$1 million from venture capital firms to create League of Legends. During the first months, the French servers of League Of Legends were based at group OVH , following the multitude of the players, Riot opened its own servers for a better autonomy. In later rounds of funding, the company raised $8 million in capital from venture capital firms Benchmark Capital and FirstMark Capital. In early 2011, the Chinese company Tencent Holdings invested in a majority stake in Riot Games valued at $400 million, according to Dow Jones business news. The deal allowed Riot Games to maintain independent operations and its existing management team.
Riot Games has signed deals regarding the distribution of League of Legends in Asia, Europe, and North America. The game is expected to be released in the rest of the world as well. The game has already released and is distributed in Australia, the United States, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Canada, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Western and Eastern Europe and Brazil, with new countries being added over time.
In China, Tencent Inc. (Riot Games’ primary shareholder) distributes the game online. The deal is one of only a handful of partnerships to bring a U.S.-developed online game directly to China. In Southeast Asia, online game service provider Garena publishes League of Legends.
On July 14, 2009, Riot Games announced that League of Legends will be free with "no catch". There will be a digital copy for download, but there is also a digital collector's copy that will be available to purchase that contains exclusive skins, $10 credit for Riot Points, and 20 champions to access without unlocking them normally via gameplay as well as 4 "special" runes; the collector's pack is currently available for $29.99. Even though the game is free, Riot Games "plan[s] to continue to add content (characters etc...) with a full production team at very frequent intervals." Since release, Riot Games has released a new champion approximately every two weeks. Using both free-to-play and freemium models, the game is supported by microtransactions rather than ads or boxed copy sales.
In Europe, Riot Games has signed an international licensing partnership with GOA, the video games department of Orange's Content Division and Europe's largest gaming portal. On October 13, 2009, GOA and Riot announced that they would start channeling server access for players located in Europe, to GOA's dedicated servers. This restriction meant that players located in Europe would not be able to play on Riot's servers in the United States. Due to negative community feedback, the channeling decision was rescinded October 16, 2009. In North America, Riot Games self-publishes and operates the game and all of its customer service aspects.
On May 10, 2010, Riot Games announced that they would take over distribution and operation of the game in Europe. To do so, Riot Games established a European headquarters in Dublin.
On July 19, 2012, Riot Games launched the official Closed Beta Test servers for League of Legends Greece. The game has been fully localized, including translated menus, texts, subtitles, with all champions being dubbed.
On April 16, 2013, Riot Games launched the official Open Beta Test servers for League of Legends Russia. The game has been fully localized, including translated menus, texts, subtitles, with all champions being dubbed.
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