On July 10, 2008, it was announced that Riot Games, founded by a pair of industry veterans with a long list of credentials, had secured $7 million in funding from Benchmark Capital and FirstMark Capital to work on a new, as-yet-unnamed title. New board member Mitch Lasky had this to say about the transaction:
"There's never been a better time for an online games company to succeed. It's one of the truly dynamic sectors of the games business. I believe that Riot is creating a unique offering for a unique customer."
Sadly, Lasky's prediction was incorrect, as the intervening years have seen online gaming activity drop to nearly zero -- what with the collapse of World of Warcraft, which was "killed" multiple times by competing MMORPGs -- and Riot Games never amounted to anything. That's not hard to understand, considering some of the radical ideas Lasky was floating around, like:
"New business models, like advertising, subscriptions, micro-payments, and the sale of virtual goods offer flexibility over the traditional retail model."
It's tempting to speculate what Riot's little game would have played like. Sadly, we'll never know.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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