The success story of Riot Games, LoL creators

Riot Studio, has created more than the famous League of Legends, celebrating this year’s tenth birthday. Now Riot – a giant futuristic building in Los Angeles, more than 1000 employees and more than 100 million players daily Zadar … excuse me, diligently playing LoL. Marc Merrill and Brandon Beck (founders) have come to success – and the fortunate and fortanulo.

The more interesting to look at the humble origins of this incredible success story. It all started in the early two thousandth, in a small apartment in West Hollywood. “You walk into a room and there – nothing: no furniture, no pictures, no decorations. Only two of the most powerful gaming companies stand together “- Beck recalls. Both the founder of the Riot – graduates of the Faculty of Business at the University of Southern California. Both received diplomas, began to work on a specialty. Beck took in Bain & Company – one of the largest consulting firms in the USA. Merrill went to the US Bank (not included in the “Big Four” banks).

It would seem, work in peace. But it was not there! Two hardcore gamers, of course, being zadolbalo office plankton. Here it should be noted that the future creators of LoL were loyal fans of Blizzard competitive multiplayer by, in particular, StarCraft and Warcraft 3. Needless to say the obvious? Over time, the two friends have switched to the notorious custom fashion: Aeon of Strife, and – of course! – DotA: Allstars.

Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill in a classic game-development always annoyed by the fact that developers have the basis of a business plan, be sure to throw the old part of the game and make a new one, even if the previous remained large user base.

In general, the stars and planets came together: the guys (and we can call them that, because then the creators of LoL were young) got career clerks got soulless developers forget about their child, and they decided to create his own company, in which everything will be justice and in the name of the players.

In 2007, the crude alpha Onslaught, which itself Merrill was referred to as “our shitty demo” was taken at the annual developers conference GDC in San Francisco. Apparently, the demo was not so shitty: Riot received several serious offers. But the publishers wanted to see the toll the boxed version with regular sequels, and Riot Games had to be abandoned.

The fact that Merrill and Beck was a revolutionary concept: the game is absolutely free, available only through the Internet, and regularly receives new content – again, for free. All profits – solely on optional microtransactions do not affect the balance sheet.

It is now we all know what kind of money brings that classic “boxed” games and did not dream (except, perhaps, the GTA and Call of Duty) when the competent organization of business free-to-the play or freemium. But suffered for a moment in the year 2007 – when it was unheard of. Publishers almost twisted his finger to his temple. The Riot understand: the game will have to not only create, but also to spread on their own.

Here and useful knowledge, acquired in the business department of the University of Southern California. Riot could do to attract venture capital. Feeding pitch to investors, friends killed Onslaught name, and in the documents already to the new – League of Legends: Clash of Fates.

In the year 2008 begins a new era: the pre-alpha goes LoL, Riot and signs a contract with the Chinese mega-publishers Tencent. It was at this moment Riot Games begin very actively recruit new employees. In the fall of 2009 release was planned, and the studio had to make titanic invisible work: a complete rewrite legacy clients, without changing the essence of the game. In the same period, Merrill and Beck took a creative solution: get rid of the extension name. In the original stake on the subtle humor – such as addition, Wizards, Thieves and Fighters called to LoL: WTF (which translates as “ahaha, Che for x% # nya !?”), but then the creators have decided to keep things simple.

In October of 2009 reached release LoL stage: 40 characters at the start, all for free. But the developers had no idea what success awaits them. Riot initially believed that LoL – niche game that will scare away many of its excessive complexity. But it was not there! After only 2 months after the launch of online exceeded 100 thousand. People at a time. It had synchronously and uncap celebratory champagne, and monitor servers practically designed for this load.

LoL I became more and more popular. One of the main features of people’s love – my own de_dust, ie perfect card, which players choose more than 50% of cases. In this LoL Summoner’s Rift. User base is gradually increasing. I came the year 2010 and then the 2011-th, and during this period changed everything. ESports and live streaming transformed from an amateur hobby to serious and very big business.

At the festival, Dreamhack Summer 2011 the first official on the LoL tournament was held. Riot were not expecting much from this event – for events booked 20 folding chairs. And what a surprise it was the developers, who saw that the people crowding around the booth mass, and on the Internet for watching battles still more than 100 thousand people! The Riot understand everything very seriously.

I had to learn by trial and error. For the second season, developers rented LA Live – an expensive open area in the center of Los Angeles. Everything was great: huge pretentious scene, huge monitors, a huge crowd. But in the finals the unthinkable happened: lost connection to the server. Connect restored, we tried to beat the game – and suddenly the gap again. From this, developers have learned a lesson: in the event of this magnitude must have a plan C, that is a backup plan for the backup plan.

In 2013, the year crazy financial success allowed LoL Riot Games to move to a huge futuristic building in Los Angeles. Merrill and Beck did not rush to display all the money in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands, and decided to improve working conditions. As a result, a prestigious publication Business Insider Riot awarded 4th place in its ranking of “Top 25 US IT-companies from the perspective of the employee.” That is, the creators of the League of Legends for a couple of rows behind the great and terrible Facebook.

Future Riot Games – a closely guarded secret. One of the favorite jokes of employees of the company – call it the Riot Game, in the singular. For 10 years the developer has released just one game – League of Legends. However, Merrill and Beck lead a reasonable argument for this time, given all the new content, the labor spent as much as if the studio has already made LoL LoL 2 and 3. However, even there in the depths of Riot Games top secret Department of R & D. Login to ordinary employees Riot banned, and the details of his work is strictly forbidden to disclose the terms of the contract. But Merrill and Beck, fathers LoL, opaque hinted that there could be anything. Even the development of new IP, which has no relation to the League of Legends.