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Riot Games

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Riot Games, Inc.
Industry Interactive entertainment
Founded 2006; 12 years ago (2006)
Headquarters Los Angeles, California, United States
Number of locations
19 studios and offices (2017)[1]
Key people

Brandon Beck (CEO)
Tom Cadwell (Lead Designer)[2]
Marc Merrill (President)[2]

Greg Costello (International Affairs)[2]
Products League of Legends
Revenue Increase US$1.6 billion (2015 estimate)[3]
Owner Tencent
Number of employees
2,500 (2017)[4]
Subsidiaries Radiant Entertainment

Riot Games is an American video game developer, publisher, and eSports tournament organizer established in 2006. Their main office is based in West Los Angeles, California. They currently have additional game development studios and offices located in Berlin, Dublin, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Mexico City, Moscow, New York City, St. Louis, Santiago, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei, and Tokyo.[1]

The company is primarily known for League of Legends, which was released in North America and Europe on October 27, 2009.[5] The company developed a free mobile game called Blitzcrank's Poro Roundup, which was released on iOS, and Android in August 2015. Riot is also involved in League of Legends' competitive eSports scene by organizing the League of Legends World Championship and Championship Series for Europe and North America, as well as coordinating the filming and broadcasting of those events. They also sanction leagues organized by third parties in other regions across the world.


Riot Games was founded as an indie game developer in 2006 by Brandon "Ryze" Beck and Marc "Tryndamere" Merrill in Los Angeles.[6] The company announced its only game, League of Legends: Clash of Fates, in October 2008,[7] 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.[8] In a second round of funding in 2009, the company raised $8 million from Benchmark, FirstMark, and Chinese technology company Tencent Holdings.[9][10] In early 2011, Tencent Holdings bought out a majority stake in Riot Games.[11][12] Tencent later reported the deal was for $231,465,000 in an interim report.[13]

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.[14] Riot Games also employs some former Blizzard Entertainment employees.[6] On July 12, 2013, Business Insider named Riot Games #4 on its list of the top 25 technology companies to work for in 2013.[15]

On November 8, 2013, Riot Games announced that the company would relocate to a new building in West Los Angeles in 2015.[16]

On December 16, 2015, Riot Games sold its remaining equity to Tencent Holdings.[17][18]

On March 8, 2016, Riot announced its acquisition of Radiant Entertainment.[19]

The Riot Games headquarters in West Los Angeles

On October 13, 2017, Riot Games' co-founders Beck and Merrill announced that they are currently working on a new game, aiming to create new experiences for video game and eSports players, while handing over the day-to-day operations and overall management of the massive League of Legends' team to their three longtime employees, Dylan Jadeja, Scott Gelb, and Nicolo Laurent.[20]


Title Year Month Genre Platform
League of Legends 2009 October Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) Microsoft Windows/OS X
Mechs vs. Minions 2016 October Strategy Tabletop

Mini games

Title Year Month Genre Platform
Astro Teemo 2013 March Arcade Microsoft Windows/OS X
Cho'gath Eats the World 2014 April Arcade Microsoft Windows/OS X
Blitzcrank's Poro Roundup 2015 August Side-scrolling video game iOS/Android
Ziggs Arcade Blast 2017 August Side-scrolling video game Microsoft Windows


Riot Games has already released and distributed League of Legends in Hispanic America, Australia, the United States, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Canada, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Europe, Brazil, Japan, 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 originally 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 channelling 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 channelling 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 localised, including translated menus, texts, subtitles, with all characters being dubbed. On April 16, 2013, Riot Games launched the official Open Beta Test servers for League of Legends Russia.


  1. ^ a b "The Riot Manifesto". Riot Games. April 28, 2015. Retrieved October 28, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Lien, Tracey (January 1, 2014). "Riot Games president defends company against accusations of greed". Polygon. Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  3. ^ Gaudiosi, John (January 27, 2016). "ESports Are Driving Digital Video Game Sales". Fortune. 
  4. ^ "Founders Lane Swap". October 11, 2017. 
  5. ^ Riot Games. "Interactive Timeline". Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Kath Brice (June 25, 2009). "Blizzard developers join Riot Games' online title". GamesIndustryInternational. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  7. ^ Anthony Gallegos (October 7, 2008). "Riot Games' League of Legends Announced". Archived from the original on October 17, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  8. ^ Leigh Alexander (July 10, 2008). "Riot Games Get a $7M Launch". Kotaku. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Riot Games Raises $8 Million". PE Hub. September 9, 2009. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  10. ^ Lalee Sadighi (Sep 2009). "Riot Games: $8 Million to Play With". Red Herring. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  11. ^ Edwards, Cliff (February 4, 2011). "Tencent Acquires Majority Stake in Riot Games to Expand in U.S". Retrieved April 23, 2015. 
  12. ^ Jon Leo (February 8, 2011). "Tencent acquires majority stake in Riot Games". Gamespot. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Tencent 2011 Interim Report" (PDF). Tencent. p. 44. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 8, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Steve Mescon hints bringing back online". Neutral Creeps. July 5, 2011. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  15. ^ Megan Rose Dickey (July 12, 2013). "The 25 Best Tech Companies To Work For In 2013". Business Insider. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  16. ^ Pereira, Chris (November 8, 2013). "Riot Games Moving to Huge New Campus in 2015". IGN. 
  17. ^ Moser, Kelsey (December 16, 2015). "Tencent purchases remaining shares in Riot Games to hold 100% of equity". TheScore eSports. TheScore Inc. 
  18. ^ Frank, Allegra (December 16, 2015). "Riot Games now owned entirely by Tencent". Polygon. Retrieved December 16, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Riot Games acquires Rising Thunder and Stonehearth studio Radiant Entertainment". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved March 8, 2016. 
  20. ^ "League of Legends Developers Are Working on a New Game". Rolling Stone. 
  21. ^ Jikonka, Jikonka (October 18, 2013). "Indonesian servers join the League: transfer now". LOL Esports. Archived from the original on October 20, 2013. Retrieved October 20, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Riot Games Inc establishes EMEA Headquarters in Dublin". IDA Ireland Investment Promotion Agency. July 15, 2010. Archived from the original on October 17, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 

Further reading

  1. Will “Chobra” Cho (October 13, 2012). Riot Games Office Tour with Chobra (video). ggChronicle. Retrieved October 16, 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.

External links