Speaking via a thread on Reddit, Riot Games president and co-founder Marc Merrill defended his company against accusations of greed related to its ultra popular free-to-play MOBA game League of Legends. Responding to a Reddit thread where users complained about the lack of a new client for League of Legends Season 4, Merrill denied that his company was being "money hungry."
"It's pretty frustrating when people try to position us as greedy," Merrill started off. "Millions upon millions of our players spend zero dollars on league and enjoy it endlessly. We're COMPLETELY OK with this. Greedy how? You do not have to spend money, it is completely opt-in."
Merrill went on to say that League of Legends is a "tremendous deal" for gamers if looked at on an "entertainment-per-hour" basis.
"If you compare the price of League of Legends entertainment per hour to every other form of media, we're the lowest around," he wrote.
Merrill also pointed out that Riot Games spend a lot of money on investment in the eSports scene.
"We spend tens of millions of dollars building a pro-esports scene to help some of our best players become global superstars who make hundreds of thousands of dollars," he said.
Merrill added that executives at Riot Games are gamers too and play the game a lot. Much like the community, when the game goes down or isn't working, they flip out just like everyone else in the community:
"We play the sh** out of League of Legends. When servers go down, we flip out. When we don't deliver on something we promised, we flip out (Magma chamber where?) and change the world internally," he said. "When we overreach on legal language with eSports contracts to prevent competitors from paying our pros to promote their games, we acknowledge the error and change it immediately."
"While other companies focus on metrics like the average revenue per user, Riot does the opposite, instead focusing on engagement," according to Merrill.
"We train our entire company to drive towards engagement," he said. "Meaning, make cool sh** and deliver value. And if people play enough because they love what we do, then they will want to spend money."
Finally, Merrill emphatically disagreed with the idea that his company places profits ahead of making great games.
"So, no offense–but I completely disagree with your greed accusation and yes, it pisses me off because I've spent the last 8 years of my life building this company, game and team to deliver great value and to treat players well," he said.
"So, thanks for the additional reminder we need to do better at explaining who we are. But f**k me if I don't allow a little emotion to slip in when the takeaway is so utterly wrong for who we are as a company."