Riot Games founders return to active game development

Riot Founders

It’s hard to deny the impact of League of Legends [official site] on the modern gaming scene. Instrumental in the foundation of modern game streaming thanks to driving interest to sites such as Twitch, and partly responsible for the enormous success of the MOBA genre as a whole, League itself seems to exist within its own ecosystem, free of networks such as Steam or Riot have built themselves an empire unto themselves, and the twin emperors have grown tired of the view.

In an official announcement, the two leading founders of the company, Marc ‘Tryndamere’ Merrill and Brandon ‘Ryze’ Beck, have announced that they’re stepping away from upper-level management and returning to focus primarily on development.

The company seems in capable hands still, with them appointing a new CTO, CFO and President to keep the money flowing while they’re leading development. While it’s nice to see them back doing what they’re happiest doing, and encouraged by their mention that they hope to finally make good on the plural at the end of Riot Games, I do wonder what happened to the Rising Thunder team that they absorbed some time ago.

For those unaware, Rising Thunder was a very promising fighting game produced by a team of genre experts aiming to create something with as low a barrier to entry as possible in terms of hardware, investment (it was to be free-to-play) and learning curve. It was officially cancelled last year, after Riot bought up the entire studio.

Maybe I’m just being wildly optimistic, but I’d love to see this concept return, especially as Tryndamere and Ryze are looking at perhaps branching out into a second game soon. Maybe an official League of Legends fighting game? Half the characters seem better suited to up-close pugilism than the MOBA genre anyhow. So, on the off-chance that either of these now absurdly wealthy developers happen to be reading this: You guys remember that fighting game studio you bought, right?


  1. Morat Gurgeh says:

    God, those two have very punchable faces.

    • RobinOttens says:

      How rude.

      Perhaps fitting if they were to develop that fighting game then.

    • Axyl says:

      I’d rather punch your face, tbh.

      • Morat Gurgeh says:


        I don’t advocate punching but those two look almost unbearably smug. And you’re welcome to try and punch my face but I must warn you I am a Ninja in good standing with the National Ninja Association. One suspects you would fare badly against someone of my phenomenal skill and power. :)

        • LessThanNothing says:

          Why did you feel the need to comment that?

          • DudeshootMankill says:

            And why did i comment this?

          • Morat Gurgeh says:

            Because it’s the weekend and I’m drunk before I wake up. Johnnie Walker Green Label FTW.

            (Seriously, proper good whisky. Hard to find but worth the hassle)

          • This banana says:

            Ah, then it’s no problem. Alcohol excuses everything immediately, doesn’t it…

          • batraz says:

            Well, it had to be said. And yes, alcohol excuses many things : try it and you’ll see.

        • syndrome says:

          C’mon why my previous comment didn’t show up?!
          It wasn’t spam, it wasn’t tasteless, it only contained links to another two (SFW) images of those guys.

    • Chaz says:

      Well, they’re both long overdue a shave.

      One needs to decide if he wants to wear a t-shirt or just a shirt, BUT NOT BOTH!

      And to the other, don’t stand there with your arms folded when you’re having your picture taken, it just looks wrong.

  2. Ethaor says:

    “You guys remember that fighting game studio you bought burried, right?”

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      I’m still not entirely sure *why*. I somehow doubt the biggest MOBA studio at the time would care much about an indie fighting game, so the only conclusion I can reach is that there must be some desire for that talent or concepts.

      • Ghostwise says:

        It seems more likely to me that they used their dire wraith powers to transform the studio members into psychic tracker death hounds.

        Or at least that’s what I’d do.

      • Beanbee says:

        Riots internal culture is deeply, deeply toxic. I wouldn’t try to understand their actions externally, LoL is a religion unto itself.

        • Daymare says:

          The culture of Riot’s development team is toxic? Care to explain where/why/how you got that information?

          I’m vaguely curious if this is just a superficial statement based on how some of LoL’s players act, projected onto its development team … or if that’s some inside knowledge.

          • Beanbee says:

            I live in LA, the 1* reviews on Glassdoor reflect some of what I’ve heard.

      • Nelyeth says:

        I used to play LoL, and I think the lads at Riot Games are definitely not dumb. They don’t mind breaking things in their game to try and make it better (even if it means reworking core mechanics and provoking a terrible shitstorm in the community), and that one time when they tried their hands at board games was definitely great. Same goes for music, whether it’s promotional content (cue Pip making yet another article about Imagine Dragons) or just a random metal album.

        So I’d tend to trust them with that, but who knows.

  3. int says:

    The picture looks like one of them has been inserted into it after it was taken because of the corner. It is a perfect picture if either of them decides to Stalin away the other.

  4. BaronKreight says:

    These are two Zuckerbergs of video gaming.