Riot Games

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Riot Games
Type Subsidiary of Tencent Holdings[1]
Industry Interactive entertainment
Founded 2006
Headquarters Santa Monica, California
Number of locations 11 (2014)[2]
Key people Brandon Beck (CEO)
Marc Merrill (President)
Products League of Legends
Revenue Increase US $927 million (April 2013 - March 2014)[3]
Employees 1,000 (2013 estimate)[4]
Parent Tencent

Riot Games is an American-based Chinese-owned video game publisher that was established in 2006. Their main office is based in Santa Monica, California. They currently have additional offices located in St. Louis, Dublin, Seoul, São Paulo, Istanbul, Moscow, Sydney, and Taipei.[5]

Riot has produced a single game, League of Legends, which was released in both North America and Europe on October 27, 2009.[6]


Riot Games, Inc. was founded as an Indie game developer in 2006 by Brandon "Ryze" Beck, and Marc "Tryndamere" Merrill in Los Angeles.[7] The company announced its first game, League of Legends: Clash of Fates, in October 2008,[8] and released the game in October 2009 as simply League of Legends. Their game uses a free-to-play model, supported by microtransactions rather than ads or boxed copy sales.

In 2008, Riot Games obtained initial funding of US$7 million provided by venture capital firms Benchmark Capital and FirstMark Capital.[9] In a second round of funding in 2009, the company raised $8 million from Benchmark, FirstMark, and Chinese technology giant Tencent Holdings.[10][11] In early 2011, Tencent Holdings bought out a majority stake in Riot Games. Bloomberg Businessweek and VentureBeat estimated the transaction to be roughly $350 to $400 million.[12][13] Tencent later reported the deal was for $231,465,000.[14]

Employees at the company include veterans of Defense of the Ancients, such as the former lead developer Steve "Guinsoo" Feak, and the former official website founder Steve "Pendragon" Mescon.[15] Riot Games also employs some former Blizzard Entertainment employees,[7] including Greg Street, former Lead Systems Designer for World of Warcraft.[16][17][18] On July 12, 2013, Business Insider named Riot Games #4 on its list of the top 25 technology companies to work for in 2013.[19]

On November 8, 2013, Riot Games announced that the company had a new campus being developed in western Los Angeles, which they would tentatively move into in 2015.[20]


Title Year Genre Platform
League of Legends 2009 Multiplayer online battle arena Windows/Mac


Riot Games has already released and distributed League of Legends in South America, Australia, the United States, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Canada, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Western and Eastern Europe, Brazil, and Indonesia.[21] In China, Riot's primary shareholder Tencent Inc. distributes the game online. In Southeast Asia, online game service provider Garena publishes League of Legends. In North America, Riot Games self-publishes and operates the game and all of its customer service aspects.

In Europe, Riot Games has signed an international licensing partnership with GOA, a division of Orange S.A.. 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. 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.[22]

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.


  1. ^ Jon Leo (8 Feb 2011). "Tencent acquires majority stake in Riot Games". Gamespot. Retrieved 16 Oct 2013. 
  2. ^ "The Riot Manifesto". Riot Games. Retrieved 16 Oct 2013. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Mike Snider (July 11, 2013). "'League of Legends' makes big league moves". USA Today. Retrieved 16 Oct 2013. 
  5. ^ Riot Games. "Jobs at Riot". Retrieved 17 Oct 2013. 
  6. ^ Riot Games. "Interactive Timeline". Retrieved 17 Oct 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Kath Brice (25 Jun 2009). "Blizzard developers join Riot Games' online title". GamesIndustryInternational. Retrieved 16 Oct 2013. 
  8. ^ Anthony Gallegos (7 Oct 2008). "Riot Games’ League of Legends Announced". Retrieved 16 Oct 2013. 
  9. ^ Leigh Alexander (10 Jul 2008). "Riot Games Get a $7M Launch". Kotaku. Retrieved 16 Oct 2013. 
  10. ^ admin (9 Sep 2009). "Riot Games Raises $8 Million". PE Hub. Retrieved 16 Oct 2013. 
  11. ^ Lalee Sadighi (Sep 2009). "Riot Games: $8 Million to Play With". Red Herring. Retrieved 16 Oct 2013. 
  12. ^ Peter Kafka (4 Feb 2011). "China's Tencent Buys Riot Games". All Things Digital. Retrieved 16 Oct 2013. 
  13. ^ Baldwin, Clare (2011-02-05). "UPDATE 1-Tencent acquires majority stake in Riot Games". Reuters. Retrieved 16 Oct 2013. 
  14. ^ "Tencent 2011 Interim Report". Tencent. p. 44. Retrieved 29 Jan 2014. 
  15. ^ "Steve Mescon hints bringing back online". Neutral Creeps. 5 Jul 2011. Retrieved 16 Oct 2013. 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Megan Rose Dickey (12 Jul 2013). "The 25 Best Tech Companies To Work For In 2013". Business Insider. Retrieved 16 Oct 2013. 
  20. ^ Pereira, Chris (2013-11-08). "Riot Games Moving to Huge New Campus in 2015". IGN. 
  21. ^ "Indonesian servers join the League: transfer now". 18 October 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  22. ^ "Riot Games Inc establishes EMEA Headquarters in Dublin". IDA Ireland Investment Promotion Agency. 15 Jul 2010. Retrieved 16 Oct 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

  1. Will “Chobra” Cho (13 Oct 2012). Riot Games Office Tour with Chobra (video). ggChronicle. Retrieved 16 Oct 2013. 
  2. Brad Stone, Ashlee Vance, and Cliff Edwards, "Blurring the Line Between Virtual and Real.." Bloomberg Businessweek, no. 4235 (June 27, 2011): 37-38.
  3. Jamaica King (December 2010). Online Gaming Communities: Strengths, Limitations, & Death. Interface.