Company founders have announced that Los Angeles-based studio Riot Games, made up of former Ultima Online, Jak & Daxter
and Sly Cooper
developers, has raised a $7 million investment, as it prepares to debut its first online title.
The company was founded in 2006 by former Bain & Company business consultant Brandon Beck and Advanstar Communications corporate marketing manager Marc Merrill, now Riot Games' CEO and president respectively.
The two say they have brought together a team with experience on games like Ultima Online, Dungeon Siege, Jak & Dexter, Heroes of Might & Magic, Neverwinter Nights 2, Sly Cooper, Total Annihilation
and more, who are currently working on its debut title on the company's "robust technology platform."
Riot says its games "will combine premium online multiplayer session-based games with best-of-breed online services, powered by the company’s own leading technology platform," a platform which will "provide robust community services that surpass the current industry standard in tools such as matchmaking, stat-tracking, ladders and more."
No further details have yet been released on the company's debut title, but Riot says it will combine "the best elements of the action role-playing and real-time strategy genres into a uniquely replayable and competitive multiplayer experience."
Benchmark Capital and FirstMark Capital financed the investment, with former JAMDAT CEO and EA Mobile executive VP and now Benchmark partner Mitch Lasky joining the Riot Games board of directors. FirstMark partner Rick Heitzmann has also joined the board, an investor behind web properties like Live Gamer, weplay, and Clickable.
Said CEO Beck, “Tremendous opportunities continue to emerge in the online games industry as distribution and business models evolve. As independent, direct-to-consumer developers with the vision of treating games as services, we are focused on delivering first-rate game experiences to highly targeted online audiences.”