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Accused of greed League of Legends developer fights back

Gamers have long held the opinion that many video game publishers are straight-up greedy. It's not hard to see why, what with in-app-purchases in full price games, season passes and low content DLC. But if there's one developer that you really can't accuse of that, it's League of Legends developer Riot Games. Yet, that's exactly what a Redditor accused the company of in a recent Reddit thread, compelling Riot president Marc Merrill to come to the company's defence.

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The accusation came up in a Reddit thread ruminating on when Riot Games would release a new, more efficient client for League of Legends, given that a community member had independently developed one, but Riot demanded that the creator shut down the project. Redditor omgdracula accused Riot Games in his/her comment of devolving into "very very greedy" company.

Merrill retorted by saying, "Greedy how? You do not have to spend money [in League of Legends], it is completely opt-in." He also reminded people that there were "millions upon millions" of gamers who play the game entirely for free and that Riot were "COMPLETELY OK with this".

Merrill also pointed out that Riot spends millions of dollars of promoting events that further League of Legends as an e-sport and also that the company produces an ad-free TV show to improve their relationship with their community.

"Most game businesses focus on metrics like ARPU (average revenue per user) and try to build their entire companies and organisations around optimising for driving to a sale (think Zynga). We do the OPPOSITE," he went on.

"We train our entire company to drive towards ENGAGEMENT, meaning MAKE COOL S*** and deliver VALUE, and if people PLAY enough because they love what we do, then they will WANT to spend money.

Merrill concluded by saying, "So, no offense, but I completely disagree with your greed accusation and yes, it pisses me off because I've spent the last eight years of my life building this company, game and team to deliver great value and to treat players well.

"So, thanks for the additional reminder we need to do better at explaining who we are. But F*** 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."

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