League of Legend Dev Responds to Greed Accusations

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League of Legend Dev Responds to Greed Accusations

League of Legends: Dominion 3

According to president Marc Merrill, Riot Games success is a result of careful investment in a "really fun game."

There are parties in the game industry that you could probably brand as being greedy with some degree of fairness. We're not going to name names, of course, but such companies do exist. According to president/cofounder Marc Merrill however, Riot Games isn't one of them. Commenting on a recent Reddit thread, Merrill offered a heated defense of his company after accusations of greed arose.

"It's pretty frustrating when people try to position us as greedy," he said. "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 also reminded those in the thread about the millions spent by the company "building a pro-esports scene to help some of our best players become global superstars." According to Merrill, Riot earned its success "by building a really fun game, constantly investing over and over to grow and improve this game and by NOT selling power or being money hungry."

It's kind of hard not to agree when he puts it like that. That being said, even if Riot did make its decisions based primarily on its fiscal fortunes, we're not sure it would be deserving of criticism even then. Setting aside obviously important things like workmanship and artistic vision, videogames are still a business. The very existence of games like League of Legends depends on their ability to earn money for the people that make them. We aren't advocating for flat out Wolf of Wall Street exploitation, of course, but it's kind of silly to get mad at a company for earning money off of a product they make and you enjoy.

Source: Reddit

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Really if you have any amount of wealth people are going to call you greedy. Company or individual.

I think those claims stem from their heroes being pay-to-play. Dota 2 doesn't do that, and I think Heroes of Newerth has moved away from that too (I'm not totally sure. I'm on the Garena servers which charges extra for EVERYTHING.)

League of Legends is the only free-to-play game I have ever played for any large amount of time, precisely because it contains no trace of pay-to-win or any of the other crappy business practices other companies have employed in similar situations. If anything, Riot should be lauded for the restraint it has thus far shown. I have never once felt the need to spend money on the game, despite the many hours I have spent, and whether I'm competitive or not depends solely on my skill.

I've played the game since early release and I didn't buy anything from the store for almost two years. The lack of pay to win in the game got me excited for the free to play game, and I eventually felt like financially supporting a company that gave me a game I dumped so much time into for free.

Greedy? Nah. You can get away without payin a cent unless you really really want some skins and even those are reasonably priced. There are far far greedier things than chargin a couple bucks for a low resolution texture change. MWO devs, PS2 devs, SWTOR devs? Now those are some greedy mofos that will gladly bleed their playerbase dry.

Douchey as all hell though? Absofuckinlutely.

SomeLameStuff:
I think those claims stem from their heroes being pay-to-play. Dota 2 doesn't do that, and I think Heroes of Newerth has moved away from that too (I'm not totally sure. I'm on the Garena servers which charges extra for EVERYTHING.)

But they aren't pay to play, you earn IP from playing games and can buy heroes with that IP.

I never understood that argument, because they aren't exclusively pay to play.

shintakie10:
Greedy? Nah. You can get away without payin a cent unless you really really want some skins and even those are reasonably priced. There are far far greedier things than chargin a couple bucks for a low resolution texture change. MWO devs, PS2 devs, SWTOR devs? Now those are some greedy mofos that will gladly bleed their playerbase dry.

Douchey as all hell though? Absofuckinlutely.

Wow, someone has never play a Perfect world game, in STO new ship models are as much as $25 and the decent loot in locked in crates that are a dollar each to open, EA's Stores seem cheap by comparison.

dumbseizure:

SomeLameStuff:
I think those claims stem from their heroes being pay-to-play. Dota 2 doesn't do that, and I think Heroes of Newerth has moved away from that too (I'm not totally sure. I'm on the Garena servers which charges extra for EVERYTHING.)

But they aren't pay to play, you earn IP from playing games and can buy heroes with that IP.

I never understood that argument, because they aren't exclusively pay to play.

The heroes are still expensive as all heck with IP though. Like, 6300 for the new ones? And you get about 100 IP per game I think.

Hoplon:

shintakie10:
Greedy? Nah. You can get away without payin a cent unless you really really want some skins and even those are reasonably priced. There are far far greedier things than chargin a couple bucks for a low resolution texture change. MWO devs, PS2 devs, SWTOR devs? Now those are some greedy mofos that will gladly bleed their playerbase dry.

Douchey as all hell though? Absofuckinlutely.

Wow, someone has never play a Perfect world game, in STO new ship models are as much as $25 and the decent loot in locked in crates that are a dollar each to open, EA's Stores seem cheap by comparison.

It takes about an hour a day for a month or so to buy the best ships in STO. On top of that, the 25 dollars is the most expensive ships there are (not includin bundles obviously). The keys you can buy about 1 a day as well at current rates. Perfect World games have the absolute best F2P business model of them all because of the simple fact that you can buy literally everythin in game with in game money and its not a gigantic fuck you grind to do so.

SomeLameStuff:

dumbseizure:

SomeLameStuff:
I think those claims stem from their heroes being pay-to-play. Dota 2 doesn't do that, and I think Heroes of Newerth has moved away from that too (I'm not totally sure. I'm on the Garena servers which charges extra for EVERYTHING.)

But they aren't pay to play, you earn IP from playing games and can buy heroes with that IP.

I never understood that argument, because they aren't exclusively pay to play.

The heroes are still expensive as all heck with IP though. Like, 6300 for the new ones? And you get about 100 IP per game I think.

200+ if your get first win of the day, but that doesn't make the "pay to play" stance any more true, you can still get all the champions for free.

Hell I know someone myself who hasn't spent a cent yet owns all but 3 of the champions.

It's been awhile since I have used the term myself, but I feel it is warranted: entitlement.

Riot is a business and is up-front about how its F2P model works. They don't sell power and everything that isn't an optional skin or a banner can be earned through free gameplay. Entitled little brats are being entitled.

I hate people sometimes.

Though some people will argue that for the first week or three after a new champion's release, they do sell power, they jack up the price of that new champion for IP only, RP stays the same as the other 6300 champions, but it goes up to. 7300 (Might be a bit more, I forget).

Though if those champions are OP at release and later scaled down, or just people aren't used to them or their skills is part of the greater question.

Eri:
Really if you have any amount of wealth people are going to call you greedy. Company or individual.

So true. And if you try to donate it, give it away, or something noble like that, people will think you're trying to cover something up and get even more suspicious of you. It's rather funny and a little sad.

The guys over at League of Legends seem to have figured out how to run their business very well. Keep the customer happy and the customer will keep coming back.

dumbseizure:

SomeLameStuff:

dumbseizure:

But they aren't pay to play, you earn IP from playing games and can buy heroes with that IP.

I never understood that argument, because they aren't exclusively pay to play.

The heroes are still expensive as all heck with IP though. Like, 6300 for the new ones? And you get about 100 IP per game I think.

200+ if your get first win of the day, but that doesn't make the "pay to play" stance any more true, you can still get all the champions for free.

Hell I know someone myself who hasn't spent a cent yet owns all but 3 of the champions.

My only real annoyance with LoL's model is that its grindy as all hell and older champions dont ever seem to go down in prices in anythin remotely resemblin a reasonable time period. Considerin how there's not supposed to be tiered characters and the only difference between a new character and an old character is that new character smell, it feels meh that only the oldest of old champions are actually cheap.

I dunno, their behavior has changed a lot since tencent purchased them. They used to be pretty cool with pricing and champion sales affecting IP prices but there's some merit to an argument that raising their prices for stuff, changing sales so the discount only applies to the currency you don't earn in game as well as reducing the rate you gain the in game currency isn't exactly generous. They may not be greedy, but they're greedier than they used to be.

shintakie10:

My only real annoyance with LoL's model is that its grindy as all hell and older champions dont ever seem to go down in prices in anythin remotely resemblin a reasonable time period. Considerin how there's not supposed to be tiered characters and the only difference between a new character and an old character is that new character smell, it feels meh that only the oldest of old champions are actually cheap.

Then you must be the new guy around. Most of the 3100 champions were 6300 last year at season 2.

Cecilo:
Though some people will argue that for the first week or three after a new champion's release, they do sell power, they jack up the price of that new champion for IP only, RP stays the same as the other 6300 champions, but it goes up to. 7300 (Might be a bit more, I forget).

Though if those champions are OP at release and later scaled down, or just people aren't used to them or their skills is part of the greater question.

Champions are 7800 at release and then go down to 6300 after a week. This is to let Riot fine tune it a bit, the Beta Server environment is different than that of the normal servers, so they can't really test each champion to 100% and be sure it's completely perfectly balanced. But that does not make that champion overpowered. Take Lucian's release for example, he was utterly useless on release. And the ones that looks and feel stronger than others on release are that way mostly due to people not knowing how to counter them yet.
And every time a new champion comes out, older ones go down in price.
All this being said, I do agree that they need to fix the IP gain as it is a bit low at the moment. It feels like it took a lot less time to get IP for a champion in season 1 than it does now. But hey, Season 4 is just around the corner, and Riot seem to have big plans for it, so all we have to do is be patient. They have always listened to their community, with enough feedback things can and will change.

Honestly I'd say greedy is actually quite an apt description given the massive changes of their business practices over time both on the F2P side and even if you decide to use your hard earned money for RP.

-IP gains have not increased in relation to champion prices or rune prices.
-Cost of champions when released have increased from 6300 to 7800
-New tiers of IP costs were created such as the 4800 mark
-Champion IP reductions have been made but usually sticks at the 4800 mark and would take about over half a year for a couple of champs to be reduced from that 6300 or 7800 mark
-Rune costs were increased to 820 and new runes that were made were also set at that price point
-RP sales for champions and skins have actually costed more with Hippo than with Moneypenny

But in the end it is just one of the biggest grinds in video game history and that's the problem. You can level a character in DISGAEA to lvl 9999 FASTER than you can actually unlock a decent amount of the content on your own in LOL. This is coming from a person who played since closed beta for FIVE YEARS who played every day and for a time frame of 5+ hours and I had about 70% of the content unlocked. Oh I should note that it was that much of a grind BEFORE I even mentioned said list above.

Sorry Riot but hobbyists can make quite the case stating that your company is fucking greedy.

EDIT: Oh I forgot to mention.

Hippo and Riot tried to sell the ward skins as RENTALS. You had to pay with REAL MONEY(when the idea first came out) to use a ward skin for a WEEK. The cost of the CHEAPEST ward skin when it started for about a year's use was about $200 USD. Riot even defended the decision at first and was forced to REMOVE the ward skin idea altogether because of how shitty of a reception it received. Hippo tried to defend it too as "consumer friendly".

SomeLameStuff:

dumbseizure:

SomeLameStuff:
I think those claims stem from their heroes being pay-to-play. Dota 2 doesn't do that, and I think Heroes of Newerth has moved away from that too (I'm not totally sure. I'm on the Garena servers which charges extra for EVERYTHING.)

But they aren't pay to play, you earn IP from playing games and can buy heroes with that IP.

I never understood that argument, because they aren't exclusively pay to play.

The heroes are still expensive as all heck with IP though. Like, 6300 for the new ones? And you get about 100 IP per game I think.

I personally have never purchase a hero with RP, and I am sitting on 20000 IP because there are no champions I want to buy right now. They give you plenty of IP to build up a good variety of champions fairly quickly. And they have their weekly champion rotation. Heck, one of my friends rarely buys champions with RP (he spends it on skins) and he owns all but 8 of the champions.

Just because League of Legends doesn't spam you to buy stuff, doesn't make them less greedy.

The mechanics of playing the game encourages you to spend.

The most popular and balance game mode is Draft Mode where you need a minimum of 12 or so Champions unlocked.

You can easily achieve this buy unlocking the dead-cheap Champions that you don't exactly enjoy. Or by spending a lot on the new Champions.

It's frustrating when especially other MOBAS lets you play all the heroes/champions for free instead of a cycle of 8 and unlockingness.

Riot games are greedy. They're just subtle.

I have never bought any RP, and I still haven't got enough Champions to be eligible for Draft Mode. This is after a year of playing.

Players are just mad that they have to pay for heroes. If they just don't like it, they should switch over to Dota 2.

scw55:
Just because League of Legends doesn't spam you to buy stuff, doesn't make them less greedy.

The mechanics of playing the game encourages you to spend.

The most popular and balance game mode is Draft Mode where you need a minimum of 12 or so Champions unlocked.

You can easily achieve this buy unlocking the dead-cheap Champions that you don't exactly enjoy. Or by spending a lot on the new Champions.

It's frustrating when especially other MOBAS lets you play all the heroes/champions for free instead of a cycle of 8 and unlockingness.

Riot games are greedy. They're just subtle.

I have never bought any RP, and I still haven't got enough Champions to be eligible for Draft Mode. This is after a year of playing.

I have a lvl 23 smurf that I have been playing on for a month now and I can play draft, I really don't see how you can't after 1 year, it's impossible. I also have 3 full rune pages, and I still managed to buy champions that I like and get to play draft with them.

Anyway, there actually is a really clever system that is based on human psychology that Riot seem to be using to get people to buy RP, but it's not really a dick move on their part, buying RP is still optional. Notice how when you get to lvl 5 you get 400 RP which is not enough to buy a skin. If you decide to buy more RP so you can get skins, you will always then have some RP left over that will again entice you to buy just a bit more RP so you can get another skin, which in turn will leave some RP left over. If you need less than, let's say 50 RP you can ask Riot for some so you can buy something, and they will always give you more than you need, so you never have 0 RP. It's actually a really smart way of getting people to spend money.

But I have to say I don't feel they are greedy at all. I have been playing this game for 3 years now and I have spend about 40 Euros on it. I have all but 10 champs on my main account, all the runes I need on 5 rune pages. I have only spent RP on skins and never on IP boosts or champions. 40 Euros for 3 years worth of entertainment is more than reasonable.

Sorry Riot, but:
- your F2P-model sucks when compared with competitors
- you tried to proactively single out competition in an asshole kind of way many times

So in the end you might not be the worst kind out there, but nowhere near sympathetic either.

Being greedy isn't a crime in business, unless it's so obvious and stupid.
(by that, I mean it isn't what you're selling or why, but how you're selling it and at what price)

Well greed is the best right now

I don't really see the problem, yeah the whole free rotation is really limiting but the IP gain is relatively quick and I like how they increased the IP cost of the new Champions on launch. If only because it limits bloody mirror matches in blind pick and less people will instalock first pick New Guy X in ranked. Nobody can play Yasuo for shit.

I think the rise to 7800 IP was to help the whole "Release broken OP Champs, nerf them a week later" complaint, basically telling you to calm the fuck down and wait for balance changes.

Long story short, there is ZERO pay to win (you can't buy runes with RP) and everything is reasonably priced. So greedy lol >.>

Bring on the misinformation circlejerk that has spawned from people spamming "Riot greedy." I FEED ON SUCH NONSENSE AND GROW MORE POWERFUL.

Tenmar:
-Cost of champions when released have increased from 6300 to 7800

For the first week, in order to drive down the number of people insta-locking in that time period. After that, the price goes down to 6300 as usual. Can't see why anyone would be mad about that.

-New tiers of IP costs were created such as the 4800 mark
-Champion IP reductions have been made but usually sticks at the 4800 mark and would take about over half a year for a couple of champs to be reduced from that 6300 or 7800 mark

So not only do you continue to spread misinformation about the 7800 price point, you're mad that they actually reduce costs, as opposed to the typical FTP games that never do that sort of stuff?

-Rune costs were increased to 820 and new runes that were made were also set at that price point

Uh, that there is pure bullshit. There isn't a single 820 rune in the store. The only new runes to be introduced in a long time were Lifesteal and Spell Vamp quints, and they're not 820 - hell, 820 would be cheaper than they are currently.

-RP sales for champions and skins have actually costed more with Hippo than with Moneypenny

Source.

But in the end it is just one of the biggest grinds in video game history and that's the problem. You can level a character in DISGAEA to lvl 9999 FASTER than you can actually unlock a decent amount of the content on your own in LOL. This is coming from a person who played since closed beta for FIVE YEARS who played every day and for a time frame of 5+ hours and I had about 70% of the content unlocked. Oh I should note that it was that much of a grind BEFORE I even mentioned said list above.

Uh, yeah, gonna have to call bullcrap on that one too. People playing since beta typically have more IP than they know what to do with, and have actually been asking for MORE stuff to sink IP into because they've got too much of it stockpiled.

Hippo and Riot tried to sell the ward skins as RENTALS.

And they listened to the fan outrage, learned their lesson and have only sold permanent ward skins since.

On a side note, I find it hilarious that people demand companies apologize and change things when they mess up, but when companies DO apologize and fix things, the tinfoil hat society views it as half-hearted attempts to win back their cash.

I was expecting complaints about skin prices, but champ prices seriously? Even then they have free champs weeks, the new champs even go free to play 2 weeks after release.

Wow guys. As a Lol-turned-Dota2 player, I can say that just because Dota 2 and other games offer more of their content for free and/or off the dot, doesn't mean that LOL is therefore greedy and evil. Oh boo hoo, you don't get as much of a percentage of the content for free. IT'S AN F2P GAME. YOU KNEW THAT YOU WEREN'T GETTING THE FULL PACKAGE.

I can understand the argument for and against how the champions work (i.e. "you don't get them all at once, booo!" "They give them out for free on rotations, yaaaay!"), but seriously? People are whining about the skins being purely paid for content? THEY'RE COSMETIC. THEY DO NOTHING IN THE GAME. GROW THE FUCK UP, YOU ENTITLED CHILDREN.

Mitzeh:

scw55:
Just because League of Legends doesn't spam you to buy stuff, doesn't make them less greedy.

The mechanics of playing the game encourages you to spend.

The most popular and balance game mode is Draft Mode where you need a minimum of 12 or so Champions unlocked.

You can easily achieve this buy unlocking the dead-cheap Champions that you don't exactly enjoy. Or by spending a lot on the new Champions.

It's frustrating when especially other MOBAS lets you play all the heroes/champions for free instead of a cycle of 8 and unlockingness.

Riot games are greedy. They're just subtle.

I have never bought any RP, and I still haven't got enough Champions to be eligible for Draft Mode. This is after a year of playing.

I have a lvl 23 smurf that I have been playing on for a month now and I can play draft, I really don't see how you can't after 1 year, it's impossible. I also have 3 full rune pages, and I still managed to buy champions that I like and get to play draft with them.

Anyway, there actually is a really clever system that is based on human psychology that Riot seem to be using to get people to buy RP, but it's not really a dick move on their part, buying RP is still optional. Notice how when you get to lvl 5 you get 400 RP which is not enough to buy a skin. If you decide to buy more RP so you can get skins, you will always then have some RP left over that will again entice you to buy just a bit more RP so you can get another skin, which in turn will leave some RP left over. If you need less than, let's say 50 RP you can ask Riot for some so you can buy something, and they will always give you more than you need, so you never have 0 RP. It's actually a really smart way of getting people to spend money.

But I have to say I don't feel they are greedy at all. I have been playing this game for 3 years now and I have spend about 40 Euros on it. I have all but 10 champs on my main account, all the runes I need on 5 rune pages. I have only spent RP on skins and never on IP boosts or champions. 40 Euros for 3 years worth of entertainment is more than reasonable.

*Making an Assumption*

You're smurfing. Which means you are probably the best player in the match. This gives you a great chance to win. Bonus RP.

You're smurfing which means you are heavily invested in the game. Which means you're more willing to play more frequently.

You probably bought economic Champions.

The system Riot has is beneficial for players who enjoy playing the cheap Champions the most.

dumbseizure:

SomeLameStuff:
I think those claims stem from their heroes being pay-to-play. Dota 2 doesn't do that, and I think Heroes of Newerth has moved away from that too (I'm not totally sure. I'm on the Garena servers which charges extra for EVERYTHING.)

But they aren't pay to play, you earn IP from playing games and can buy heroes with that IP.

I never understood that argument, because they aren't exclusively pay to play.

I don't know if its changed since I stopped but you got about 100-145 IP per game not counting the win of the day bonus (150 IP). A new champion was released once every 2 weeks, and literally every single one cost 6300. Seeing as that 145 IP was for a standard game about 1 hour long it required about 43 hours over the two weeks to farm up enough IP for a hero. That's not even going into rune costs. Compare this to Dota 2 where every hero is available to everyone immediately upon release.

At over 20 hours a week to just keep up in the game, well that's pretty much pay to play. Shit I've played MMOs that heavily pushed players towards microtransactions after a certain level that required less of a time commitment if you wanted to play for free than League does.

I play LoL since the closed beta and good god i wouldn't start with it nowadays, if i had the silly concept in mind, that F2p means "spend no money".

Someone once calculated that if you'd start playing now and with the average time Riot spits out you'd need 2 - 2.5 years to collect enough IP to buy all the champs in the game.

So jeah, the game is definitly built around those microtransactions and that's fine. Apparently F2P means something completly diffrent to me than to 99% of other gamers.
It means: Test it out for free and if you like our game please spend money.

And if you spend the amount of money you'd buy a game for on LoL, you certainly have no problems with Champs. Just grab the bundles and you're good to go.
If everyone could play the game for free with nearly 0 investment into it, how do you think those games could survive?

Someone already said it: entitlement.

um, wot?

Riot, though I'm not really a fan of the game, does not have what I would call a greedy setup for LoL.

But then I'm pretty much convinced people who cry fowl on F2P games don't really know, or are other wise incapable of telling the difference between a good F2P model and a bad one.

I call them greedy due to the vested interest in making skins vs. fixing content. For over five months I sent in tickets, posted on forums, and sent in bug reports to have riot fix Fizz's playful/trickster. I even went as far learning to play Fizz a different way than I wanted to since I loved that champion but eventually I couldn't take it and gave up. Then the pro's play him during that last championship and boom 2 weeks later his E is patched. So I don't play league anymore and fuck Riot.

dumbseizure:

SomeLameStuff:
I think those claims stem from their heroes being pay-to-play. Dota 2 doesn't do that, and I think Heroes of Newerth has moved away from that too (I'm not totally sure. I'm on the Garena servers which charges extra for EVERYTHING.)

But they aren't pay to play, you earn IP from playing games and can buy heroes with that IP.

I never understood that argument, because they aren't exclusively pay to play.

Now see, while that is technically true, it takes a LOT of time to access all the content.
http://forums.euw.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=759281
You'd have to spend about 8 hours a day playing (and winning every match) for a whole year just to unlock all the champions. Compared to most fighting games where you could unlock most of the content within the week of playing, it's pretty bad.

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