Riot: Free players should be able to “be successful and reach their maximum potential from a competitive standpoint”


Riot’s new eCommerce Directory, Hippalus, has written a lengthy blog post on the League of Legends’ forums detailing exactly how the company is approaching the sale of virtual goods within the game, and exactly what you can get for your money. It’s not a change in how the company does its business in terms of League of Legends, but it’s clarifying something that was worth clearing up.
And more importantly, it’s going to inform any future decisions in terms of pricing and promotions. 

The major point that Hippalus emphasised is that “playing LoL should be super fun for players who don’t spend money, ever. This means that players can experience a wide variety of play styles without purchasing anything, and can also be successful and reach their maximum potential from a competitive standpoint.” It’s a pretty powerful statement to make, especially when the company’s entire income comes from the players that dopay, rather than the ones that don’t. To push so much forward without asking anything in return is generous, to say the least.
The counterpoint is that they have to make those who do pay feel the investment is worth it. “Players who support Riot by buying and spending RP should be rewarded with additional customization and be able to leverage their time more effectively. It is not cheap to support the most played game in the world, hire the best game dev talent, and release new content and functionality every week, and we are grateful to those who help us make that happen.”
So far, I’d say that they’ve met both those criteria pretty well, making the like of skins and ease-of-use items the only difference between paid and unpaid players. That you can, theoretically, complete the champion roster and finish off all rune pages without ever laying down a penny is an impressive feat, and one that has no doubt contributed to make League of Legends such a behemoth of the free to play scene.
More immediately important is that for the next six days, the bonus RP you get for buying in bulk is being doubled, as well as a new €2.50 option in the store, which buys you 400 RP. So if you were thinking of buying some, now might be the time.