League of Legends Season One Interview

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posted 11/5/2010 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
One Page Platforms: PC
The folks at Riot Games want you to know that they are continuing to roll out new goodies for League of Legends and we got the chance to see what they had in store.  Here's our interview that covers some of what they have in store for fans of the game.

Could you introduce yourself and talk about your role on League of Legends? How did you get into the game industry and what do you like most about your job?
I am Marc Merrill, the President of Riot Games and Executive Producer on League of Legends, which means that I supervise the development, marketing and live service operation of League of Legends. I got into the industry by co-founding Riot Games in 2006 to make League of Legends with the goal of creating the most gamer-centric video game company in the world.


Could you give us a high level overview of League of Legends for those who might not know much about the game?
League of Legends is a genre-bending game that combines the best elements of real time strategy games with MMO-style PvP to deliver really fun and interesting gameplay that we call the MOBA, or Multiplayer Online Battle Arena genre. For a given game session, the player controls one of more than 60 unique and interesting characters to play for a given game session. The player’s goal is to work with a team of other players to defeat the opponent team. The game is completely free-to-play, and anyone can check it out instantly by visiting www.leagueoflegends.com.


How has the free-to-play model worked for you so far? Have you had to make any changes to the pricing model since the game has launched?
One of our core beliefs has been that if we create a great and fun experience and give it away for free, then players will ultimately reward us by becoming fans of our game. This has worked out really well so far and our players love the fact that they never have to spend any money unless they want to. Many of our top players have never spent any money in the game. The primary adjustments we have made since launch really revolve around how much content we have added. We add a new playable champion every two weeks and constantly release other cool content for players to enjoy.


Is there any single player content available for the game or is it strictly an online multi-player experience?
Currently, the core of the game is the team-based, player vs player experience. You can play a tutorial alone, or matches against AI-controlled opponents, but those modes are really just for practice at the moment. League of Legends is most fun when playing with or against your friends.


What has surprised you the most since the game launched? Are there things that you were surprised to see people do? Have there been things you thought people would do but didn’t?
Our players are very creative in many ways, and we have continually been pleasantly surprised by them. First they are constantly figuring out new strategies and new ways to play League of Legends through different team combinations, using Champion abilities in new ways, and building up the characters differently than we had expected. The game is designed in such a way that those discoveries deepen the play experience, and other players come up with counter-strategies fairly quickly too.

Another thing that has surprised us is how talented and creative our players are. We recently held a pirate-themed fan art contest and the results were absolutely amazing. They have written in-depth strategy guides for all our Champions and they have really driven a lot of the development of the product with their ideas and passion for the game.

The game's popularity has also been incredible, and we greatly appreciate how much our players have done for us.
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