In a new statement, Riot Games co-founders Marc Merrill and Brandon Beck have announced that they're stepping down from their management roles at the company and returning to active game development. Both gentlemen were co-creators of League of Legends, the game that put Riot Games on the map. Since then, Beck has been the company's chief executive officer, while Merrill has been the president and chief marketing officer.
"The two of us are actively changing our roles to be much more focused on games again," said the pair in their statement. "When we founded Riot eleven years ago, we spent virtually every waking hour of the day (and night!) thinking about how to make League of Legends as great of an experience as possible."
They admitted that the growth of League of Legends and Riot Games has "also meant that the majority of our time is allocated to 'managing' the company rather than focusing on creating incredible experiences for players, which is what we really love to do." It sounds as if Merrill and Beck will retain their titles. Riot Games' current executive team-Dylan Jadeja (CFO), Scott Gelb (CTO), and Nicolo Laurent (President)-will continue to handle company operations.
"We are thrilled to be able to have a great team of such capable leaders and look forward to working with them to finally put the 's' in Riot Games," said both gentlemen. "We're incredibly excited to jump back into the trenches for this next chapter and look forward to sharing what we're up to along the way. Thanks to all of you for continuing to make our dream jobs possible."
There's no word on what the pair will be working on. Despite the name, Riot Games has been focused on a single title for most of its existence. It has released a number of smaller free games, including Astro Teemo, Cho'gath Eats the World, Blitzcrank's Poro Roundup, and Ziggs Arcade Blast, but it has yet to expand with another full title. It did pick up Radiant Entertainment, including the teams behind Stonehearth and Rising Thunder, but there's been no information on a new title from that studio.