Riot Games’ leadership is changing and former CEO Marc Merrill, who co-founded the studio back in 2006, is now going to take on a new role at the developer: president of games. This role will have Merrill oversee all the current and in-development gaming projects at the studio.
Riot Games’ current CEO, Nicolo Laurent, has revealed that Merrill will have an active role in overseeing Riot’s two main titles, League of Legends and Valorant, alongside Teamfight Tactics, Wild Rift, and Legends of Runeterra. As president of games, he’s also going to oversee the development of Riot Games’ unannounced titles – including the mysterious new fighting game Project L.
Despite Riot Games’ developments in esports and entertainment, Laurent expressed that games are still “the most crucial part” of the studio’s plans and Merrill’s new position is “the most critical leadership role in Riot’s new chapter”. In his own statement on the appointment, Merrill shares that it will take a few weeks for him to meet teams and make plans. So, we might not see Merrill make his mark on Riot Games’ leadership in this new role for a couple of months.
Merrill was Riot Games’ CEO until 2017 when he stepped down into the role of co-chairman alongside Brandon Beck – another Riot Games co-founder. In this role, he’s been a crucial part of several major projects from the studio – including Riot Games’ recent entertainment division.
In his new role, Laurent has explained that Merrill will be leading “day-to-day operations”, rather than having an active involvement in larger projects specifically. Merrill is “excited to focus more fully on Riot’s games”, according to Laurent, and we’re excited to see how this appointment will affect Riot Games’ range of titles going forwards.