Riot Games looks to bolster offerings in eSports, new games

League of Legends developer says eSports credibility is not a direct concern

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League of Legends developer Riot Games is doing well--so well it could be forgiven for not focusing too much on the future. Fortunately, it's clear from a GamesIndustry International interview published today with the company's co-founders that they plan to expand not only the game and its eSports presence, but also to explore other projects.

"We want to make the 's' in Riot Games mean something," said co-founder and president Marc Merrill. "We feel our direct distribution and our connection to customers, along with our experience around the world, is a very powerful asset we intend to capitalize on when it makes sense."

For now, Riot Games is holding its cards close to its chest, planning to talk up any new angles only when it is good and ready. But Merrill was much more talkative about League of Legends' growth as an eSport, and why it's more important to give fans a good experience than to try to draw viewers from outside the community.

"The credibility of e-sports varies by territory," he noted. "Our priority is to give players and fans a great experience both live and streaming. We want to approach the quality of pro sports in our competitions and broadcasts--that will improve credibility."

Riot Games has sponsored various tournaments, and will even furnish a $30,000 yearly salary for the 40 players which made its official semi-finals this year. Professional players can also make significant cash from prizes and streaming ads revenues.

As for the game itself, Merrill said the company will keep on track for introducing a new champion every two to three weeks, even with a roster of more than 100. Riot has more designers creating the characters and balancing them than ever before.

"We think the limit is much higher," Merrill said . "We have a long way to go."

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One of GR+'s news crew, Connor also writes features from time to time and does a lil' streamin'-streamin' on the side. Chrom is his husband and nothing will ever come between them.
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