There are five people in Riot’s e-commerce squad. Most have backgrounds in money maths, but all are “hardcore” LoL players who find time for at least one match a day. It transpires that the same balance informs their approach to business.
“A lot of our features are about player value,” they explain. “So we try to maximize things that help players and help Riot.”
Player value and development cost are the two key factors the e-commerce team weigh up when floating an idea for LoL, they revealed in a recent Reddit AMA.
“To be 100% honest, we don't have our skins priced to maximize profits,” said e-commerce associate WizardCrab. “We try to price them to maximize player experience. This means a lot of different things, one of which is generating enough revenue to continue to produce a great product for you. Many players may or may not believe this, but I can tell you that our prices are not ‘profit maximizing’.”
Even the very heart of Riot’s business - its increasingly successful attempts to push back the borders of eSports - doesn’t make them any money, as they’ve previously suggested.
“We all love it as fans,” said RiotHippalatus, “and we've seen that eSports related content is typically purchased by an above average number of players.
“It's not enough of a difference to cover all of the salaries, events, production, etc. but even though it's hard to make the math work on eSports, we all believe the investment is worth it in the long run.”
Clearly Riot turn a profit elsewhere - but it’s great to hear that they make their ventures with a far-sighted view for growing LoL, rather than an eye for immediate gain. Don't you think?
Thanks, Reign of Gaming.