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With the net worth of $200 Million, Brandon Beck is the # 1762 richest person on earth all the time follow our database.
Beck and Merrill sought funding from family and angel investors, raising US$1.5 millionto launch their company. Riot Games was established in September 2006 and opened an office in an old, converted machine shop under an Interstate 405 overpass in Santa Monica, California. The first person Riot Games recruited was Steve "Guinsoo" Feak, one of the early developers of DotA Allstars, the game that pioneered the MOBA genre. As they refined League of Legends' initial creation, they sold investors on the plan for a video game company rooted in e-commerce, which led to several rounds of funding that totaled to $8 million, including investments by the Benchmark and FirstMark Capital venture capital firms, as well as Chinese holding company Tencent, who would later become League of Legends' distributor in China.
Following six months of beta tests, Riot Games released League of Legends as a free-to-play game on October 27, 2009. The company continued to develop League of Legends by allowing players to offer feedback. Their game designers and executives participated in online forums to make adjustments based on player feedback.
On May 10, 2010, Riot Games announced that they would take over distribution and operation of their game in Europe; to do so, Riot Games relocated their European headquarters in Brighton to new offices in Dublin. In February 2011, Tencent paid $400 millionfor a 93 percent stake in Riot Games. Tencent bought the remaining 7 percent on December 16, 2015; the price was not disclosed.
In 2012, in response to toxicity and harassment in League of Legends, Riot Games launched a "player behavior team" of psychologists to combat harassment on its platform. Riot Games' tactics to address issues on League of Legends, including an opt-in chat function between opposing players, informing banned players of the reasoning behind the ban, and creating a tribunal of players to weigh in on bans, resulted in a 30 percent drop in reported harassment behavior. By 2013, League of Legends was the most-played multiplayer PC game in the world. From 2014 to 2016, the number of active League of Legends players grew from 67 million to more than 100 million.
In June 2014, Alessandro Di Fiore, the founder and CEO of the European Centre for Strategic Innovation, wrote in Harvard Business Review that Riot Games' League of Legends was the massively multiplayer online game that epitomized the growth of the esports industry. During 2010 and 2011, the Riot Games team developed new content for League of Legends; it was during this time that the company realized that people did not only like to play League of Legends, but also liked to watch it. As a result, Riot Games established its own League of Legends esports leagues that produce weekly broadcasts and create a professional game schedule. Following Riot Games' first world championship event in 2011, a small affair at a conference in Sweden, the company decided to turn their tournaments into professional sports-like events. It invested in broadcasting equipment, hired sports programming producers, and trained pro gamers to be "TV-ready". In 2012, Riot Games held its tournament at University of Southern California's Galen Center, offering $1 million in prize money. Riot Games has since held tournaments in Berlin, Seoul, Madison Square Garden in New York City, and the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Riot Games relocated to a new building on a 20-acre campus in West Los Angeles in 2015. In March 2016, Riot Games acquired Radiant Entertainment, another developer who was working on Rising Thunder and Stonehearth at the time. Rising Thunder was effectively canceled following the acquisition, with the game's team allocated to a new project. On October 13, 2017, Beck and Merrill announced that they were returning their focus to developing games, aiming to create new experiences for video game and esports players. Beck and Merrill handed over the day-to-day operations and overall management of the League of Legends team to three longtime employees: Dylan Jadeja, Scott Gelb and Nicolo Laurent, who previously served as chief financial officer (CFO), chief technology officer (CTO) and president, respectively. Subsequently, Gelb and Laurent assumed roles as chief operating officer (COO) and chief executive officer (CEO), respectively, while Beck and Merrill became the Riot Games' chairmen. As of May 2018, Riot Games employs 2,500 people, operating 24 offices around the globe.
The company sells corporate sponsorships, merchandise, and streaming rights for its esports league. In 2015, investors bought stakes in teams and began building their own squads. Among the team owners in Riot Games' leagues are the owners of the Washington Wizards, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Dodgers, AOL co-founder Steve Case, and life coach Tony Robbins. Inc. cited the growth of the leagues and high-profile ownership as part of its reasoning for making Riot Games its 2016 Company of the Year. Following debates over whether pro players and coaches should have a greater share of Riot Games' esports revenue and concerns raised about the company making in-game changes prior to matches, the company issued an open letter in 2016 promising higher revenue shares and more collaboration with professional teams. In 2017, Riot Games held the League of Legends World Championship in China, with the finals taking place in Beijing. The same year, the company announced it would franchise its ten-team North American League of Legends Championship Series, which cost at least $10 million to enter.
In October 2016, Riot Games released Mechs vs. Minions, a cooperative tabletop game based on League of Legends. In January 2020, Riot Games announced the creation of a new internal studio, Riot Tabletop, which has several games in development. The first scheduled to be released is Tellstones: King's Gambit, a bluffing game for two or four players.
In 2017, Riot Games filed a lawsuit against Moonton Technology Co., the developer of the mobile game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, because of copyright infringement, citing similarities between Mobile Legends and League of Legends. The case was initially dismissed in California on account of forum non conveniens. Tencent, on behalf of Riot Games, then filed a new lawsuit in a Chinese court, which ruled in Tencent's favor in July 2018, awarding it $2.9 million in damages.
In December 2018, Riot's CEO Nicolo Laurent sent an email to all employees stating that following the company's internal investigation, their COO, Scott Gelb, was suspended for two months without pay for workplace misconduct and would take training classes before his return. Riot stated to Kotaku that there still other cases they were investigating but did not involve those as senior as Gelb, and thus would not discuss these cases publicly. By January 2019, Riot published its updated company values on its website, the first time since 2012, to reflect the apparent "bro culture" that the company had been seen as since the Kotaku report, and by February 2019, had hired Angela Roseboro as the company's chief diversity officer to further help improve their culture.
In October 2019, Riot Games announced several new games: a version of League of Legends for mobile devices and consoles called League of Legends: Wild Rift, a standalone mobile version of the Teamfight Tactics mode from League of Legends, and the digital collectible card game titled Legends of Runeterra, with all three scheduled for a 2020 release. The company also teased further games — codenamed as Project A (later revealed to be called Valorant), Project L, and Project F – that have not been detailed outside of genre descriptions.
In December 2019, Riot Games announced Riot Forge, a publishing label headed by Leanne Loombe. The label partners with smaller game development studios for the creation of League of Legends games, with some games of this type already being in development. Two titles from Riot Forge were announced at The Game Awards 2019: Ruined King: A League of Legends Story by Airship Syndicate, and Convergence: A League of Legends Story by Double Stallion Games. Another division, Riot Tabletop, was announced in January 2020. Producing tabletop games, its first was announced to be Tellstones: King's Gambit.
A proposed settlement was reached in the class-action suit in August 2019, which would include at least US$10 million in damages to women that had been employeed at Riot Games over the prior five years. Representatives of the class stated "We believe that the policy changes Riot agreed to make will continue the progress toward equality that we've made over the last year", while Riot Games said "While this settlement helps bring peace of mind to women at Riot, we want to acknowledge that issues of discrimination and harassment go beyond gender, and acknowledge the victims who aren't covered in the suit."
California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) had been investigating claims of gender discrimination at Riot Games since October 2018. In June 2019, DFEH had stated that Riot had denied providing them requested documents and were seeking action to compel these documents, though Riot stated that they have complied with all requests issued by the Department. Upon word of the settlement, the Department filed a complaint with the court that stated they believed the settlement was far too low, estimating that the lawsuit potentially could have been worth as much as US$400 million. The state's Division of Labor Standards Enforcement also filed a complaint, believing the settlement would release Riot from labor liabilities that had been raised by the lawsuit. Both complaints urged the court to reject the proposed settlement. Riot dismissed DFEH's larger value to the suit, as well as denying charges raised by the DFEH that it had colluded with the class's lawyer to reduce the amount they would pay through the settlement.
About three months after Kotaku's story, one current and one former Riot employee filed a lawsuit against the company, asserting the company engaged in gender discrimination in relation to their pay and position, and that the company had created a hostile workplace, including "the ongoing sexual harassment, misconduct, and bias which predominate the sexually-hostile [sic] working environment of Riot Games". The lawsuit seeks to qualify it as a class-action suit, and for damages to be based on unpaid wages, damages, and other factors to be determined at trial. Three other employees followed with their own lawsuits against Riot Games in the months that followed. Riot Games attempted to have two of the suits dismissed in April 2019, citing that the two female plaintiffs of these suits, when hired, had agreed to third-party arbitration rather than take court action. Internally, several employees of Riot threatened to walk out, an idea that had been around since the first Kotaku article, as alongside the coercion to use arbitration, these employees felt Riot had yet to improve its transparency on the processes and had otherwise continued to retain Gelb despite his suspension. Riot acknowledged there are issues, allowing employees to speak anonymously with the press, and plans to use town hall meetings and smaller group discussions with Roseboro and employees to determine the path forward. Riot also committed to removing mandatory arbitration in new employee contracts and potentially for existing ones after the current litigation had been settled. Additionally, Riot established a 90-day plan starting in May 2019 to continue to address internal issues related to diversity and inclusion. Despite this, over one hundred Riot employees staged their walkout on May 6, 2019, demanding that Riot end forced arbitration for all past and current employees as well. About two weeks following the walkout, Riot stated that they will not change forced arbitration in existing agreements while the current litigation against the company is ongoing.
In October 2019, Riot Games filed a lawsuit against Riot Squad Esports LLC, a Chicago-based esports organization founded in March 2019, alleging that Riot Squad intentionally infringed on Riot Games' "Riot" trademark.
Riot acquired Hypixel Studios in April 2020, which they had been investing into over the previous eighteen months to help them publish Hytale, a voxel-based sandbox game. Also in April, Riot announced plans to establish a Singapore office later that year. Riot Games Singapore is to support Riot's existing titles and will have a major focus on developing the company's newer titles. Jason Bunge was hired as Riot Games' chief marketing officer in October 2020.
As a result of the state's findings that the terms of the settlement should have been valued higher, the class withdrew the proposed US$10 million settlement and dropped their original legal counsel, bringing on new lawyers who had been involved in prior lawsuits related to the Me Too movement in February 2020. Riot stated in response that they felt the original US$10 million figure "fair and adequate under the circumstances" after analysis, but remain committed to reaching a resolution.
In June 2020, Ron Johnson, Riot Games' global head of consumer products, shared a Facebook post that claimed George Floyd had been killed by police "because of his criminal lifestyle". The company subsequently placed Johnson on leave to conduct an investigation, after which Ron resigned from the company.
Riot had announced a planned partnership with the developing city of Neom in Saudi Arabia in July 2020, with the city to sponsor the upcoming League of Legends European Championship series. Shortly after the announcement, fans of the game, as well as Riot employees, criticized the company over social media and their streaming channels over the partnership, asserting past poor treatment of human rights by Saudi Arabia and the violent attempts to evict the Howeitat tribe from the area during the city's construction. Riot canceled the partnership within a few days in response, apologizing and stating "In an effort to expand our esports ecosystem, we moved too quickly to cement this partnership and caused rifts in the very community we seek to grow. While we missed our own expectations in this instance, we're committed to reexamining our internal structures to ensure this doesn't happen again."