Over the course of a decade, Riot Games has grown into a huge studio with 20 offices around the world and over 2,500 employees, all built around a single game: League of Legends. But that could be set to change, with Riot co-founders Brandon “Ryze” Beck and Marc “Tryndamere” Merrill stepping away from the management side of things, and back to making games.
“This growth has lots of benefits: our capabilities improved, our reach broadened, and we could deliver League of Legends and esports to more players than ever before,” the announcement post reads. “But this growth also meant that the majority of our time is allocated to “managing” the company rather than focusing on creating incredible experiences for players, which is what we really love to do.”
So to get back to that, the pair are leaving company operations to Dylan Jadeja, Scott Gelb and Nicolo Laurent, while they return to designing games. They want to “finally put the ‘s’ in Riot Games”.
While Riot’s focused on League of Legends for 11 years, that’s given the studio years of experience at making something that’s part strategy, part RPG, competitive and co-operative. It’s not hard to imagine lots of other types of games that could benefit from that experience.
Last year, Riot also acquired Radiant Entertainment. At the time, the studio was working on Stonehearth, which continues, and a fighting game, Rising Thunder. That was Capcom alumnus Seth Killian’s baby, and unfortunately development ceased after the acquisition. It’s not clear if Radiant will be involved in whatever Merrill and Beck are going to be working on next, but if it is, we might see another fighting game come out of it, and it would certainly be nice to see the tech developed for Rising Thunder be put to good use.