Riot Games

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Riot Games, Inc.
Subsidiary of Tencent Holdings
Industry Interactive entertainment
Founded 2006
Headquarters West Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States
Number of locations
17 (2015)[1]
Key people

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

Greg Costello (International Affairs)[2]
Products League of Legends
League of Legends World Championship
Revenue Increase US $1.6 billion (2015 estimate)[3]
Number of employees
1,000 (2013 estimate)[4]
Parent Tencent

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

League of Legends, was released in North America and Europe on October 27, 2009.[5] Other than LoL the company has 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's competitive esports scene by organizing the League of Legends World Championship and the League of Legends Championship Series for Europe and North America and well as coordinating the filming and broadcasting of those events. They also section leagues organized by third parties in other regions across the world. Riot develops and releases regular balance patch updates for League of Legends.


Riot Games, Inc. 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 giant 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] including Greg Street, former Lead Systems Designer for World of Warcraft.[15][16][17] On July 12, 2013, Business Insider named Riot Games #4 on its list of the top 25 technology companies to work for in 2013.[18]

On November 8, 2013 Riot Games announced that the company would relocate to a new building in West Los Angeles in 2015.[19]

On December 16 2015, Riot Games sold its remaining equity to Tencent Holdings.[20][21]


Title Year Month Genre Platform
League of Legends 2009 October Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) Windows/Mac

Mini games[edit]

Title Year Month Genre Platform
Astro Teemo 2013 March Arcade Windows/Mac
Cho'gath Eats the World 2013 April Arcade Windows/Mac
Blitzcrank's Poro Roundup 2015 August Sidescrolling game iOS/Android/Flash


Riot Games has already released and distributed League of Legends in Latin America, Australia, the United States, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Canada, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Europe, Brazil, and Indonesia.[22] 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 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.[23]

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 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. 28 April 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Lien, Tracey (1 January 2014). "Riot Games president defends company against accusations of greed". Polygon. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Gaudiosi, John (January 27, 2016). "ESports Are Driving Digital Video Game Sales". Fortune. 
  4. ^ Mike Snider (July 11, 2013). "'League of Legends' makes big league moves". USA Today. Retrieved 16 Oct 2013. 
  5. ^ Riot Games. "Interactive Timeline". Retrieved 17 Oct 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Kath Brice (25 Jun 2009). "Blizzard developers join Riot Games' online title". GamesIndustryInternational. Retrieved 16 Oct 2013. 
  7. ^ Anthony Gallegos (7 Oct 2008). "Riot Games’ League of Legends Announced". Retrieved 16 Oct 2013. 
  8. ^ Leigh Alexander (10 Jul 2008). "Riot Games Get a $7M Launch". Kotaku. Retrieved 16 Oct 2013. 
  9. ^ "Riot Games Raises $8 Million". PE Hub. 9 Sep 2009. Retrieved 16 Oct 2013. 
  10. ^ Lalee Sadighi (Sep 2009). "Riot Games: $8 Million to Play With". Red Herring. Retrieved 16 Oct 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 (8 Feb 2011). "Tencent acquires majority stake in Riot Games". Gamespot. Retrieved 16 Oct 2013. 
  13. ^ "Tencent 2011 Interim Report" (PDF). Tencent. p. 44. Retrieved 29 Jan 2014. 
  14. ^ "Steve Mescon hints bringing back online". Neutral Creeps. 5 Jul 2011. Retrieved 16 Oct 2013. 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ Megan Rose Dickey (12 Jul 2013). "The 25 Best Tech Companies To Work For In 2013". Business Insider. Retrieved 16 Oct 2013. 
  19. ^ Pereira, Chris (2013-11-08). "Riot Games Moving to Huge New Campus in 2015". IGN. 
  20. ^ Moser, Kelsey (December 16, 2015). "Tencent purchases remaining shares in Riot Games to hold 100% of equity". TheScore eSports. TheScore Inc. 
  21. ^ Frank, Allegra (December 16, 2015). "Riot Games now owned entirely by Tencent". Polygon. Retrieved December 16, 2015. 
  22. ^ Jikonka, Jikonka (18 October 2013). "Indonesian servers join the League: transfer now". LOL Esports. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  23. ^ "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.