Building on the ongoing growth of its free-to-play online multiplayer game League of Legends
, independent developer Riot Games has opened a new Dublin office to provide better support and publishing infrastructure for its European operations.
"The game has been received really well in Europe, and that growth has largely mirrored US growth," Riot CEO Brandon Beck told Gamasutra in advance of today's announcement. "Going into Europe has been an opportunity to get close to our users and improve the quality of service there."
More concretely, Riot plans to take its European publishing in-house, bringing it in line with its domestic situation, and to help with issues like localization, community relations, marketing, and network support. Game development, however, will remain in the US.
Previously, League of Legends
was published in association with Frame Telecom's GOA video game division, which handles games like Electronic Arts and Mythic's Warhammer Online
"This was due to a major groundswell of community feedback -- they wanted the same level of direct community interaction that US users have," Beck explained. "It was something we couldn't ignore."
After scouting a number of European cities, Riot settled on Dublin, thanks to its status as an "emerging hub for online game servicing," meaning there's plenty of experienced local talent to recruit. "And because it's close to the Guiness factory," Beck added.
This September, BioWare plans to open
its own online game support facility in Galway, on Ireland's opposite coast. Riot's new Dublin location is kicking off with only seven employees, but Beck says the studio "definitely plans to expand on that."
The company's total employee count has already nearly doubled
since League of Legends
launched last October, with more than 70 staffers in the United States, and Riot says it doesn't plan to stop growing in the near future.
"We intend to continue to grow and expand upon League of Legends
really aggressively, more than is usual or typical for a game post-launch," said Beck. "That's to support the growth we've had and the desires of users to expand the experience and the feature-set. We've got a larger live development team than we had at any point on the game pre-launch."
Further out, Beck says Riot is considering building up new studios in the United States, and he hinted Riot will be announcing new game projects "in the coming months."