CREATOR VOICE

How Riot Games’ Japan team put together a locally and culturally resonant music video with mainstream regional artists

Going global does not simply mean releasing your games everywhere; it means connecting to your audience around the world organically. The latest in this series from Riot’s President of Worldwide Publishing discusses how the creator of Valorant and League of Legends has been able to do just that.


CREATOR VOICE

Riot Games’ Jin Oh on the company’s successful push into culture and lifestyle, amplifying the player experience and engagement with the brand

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a company called Riot Games makes games. What may surprise you is that we make so much more than just games. In fact, we’ve produced so many albums that some players have joked that we’ve become a music studio. At Riot Games we make not only music, but have the fictional characters we’ve created perform it.

For Riot Games, we see this as a way to extend our reach into other areas of players’ pop-cultural lives. Players don’t just play games, they listen to music, care about fashion, and watch animation, for example…


In Worldwide Publishing (WWP) at Riot, we believe that publishing advances player culture. We want gaming to be a lifestyle choice; our goals go far beyond simply getting games into the hands of players.

One of the most critical paths to achieving this requires we have a true understanding of our audience: players. Players must know, and feel, that we understand them and their cultures, no matter where they live around the globe. Riot’s locally empowered teams exist to maximize the resonance of their experiences by building relationships that are deep and enduring.

In fact, the origin of the word…


It’s hard to think of something that the spread of COVID-19 didn’t upend. Gathering in any sort of crowd was severely restricted; so many of the cultural events that we all love were canceled. And yet, in September and October of 2020, Riot Games held the League of Legends World Championship (“Worlds”) in Shanghai, China, in front of a live audience. Worlds 2020 set new records in viewership, including a 23 million Average Minute Audience (AMA), our main measurement of success. Most importantly, no new COVID cases were traced back to the event.

This was only possible with contributions from…


I wrote a piece about the vision and mission of Worldwide Publishing at Riot. A major cornerstone of that philosophy is our approach to regional offices: we meet players where they are by going local with publishing. These locally empowered teams work to maximize the resonance of our player experiences, building relationships that are deep and enduring.

One of our most successful regional offices has been our Korea office, based in Seoul. That team launched League of Legends in 2011, which has arguably been Korea’s #1 PC game of the past decade. In Korean PC cafes, the defining PC gaming…


I originally posted this article on RiotGames.com. I’m sharing it here now in the hope that it can find a new community of thinkers and leaders in the gaming industry and beyond. I look forward to sharing more in the weeks and months to come.

Gaming is riding a massive wave, sitting on the edge of a global cultural breakthrough. Where the entertainment landscape of the 20th century was driven by linear media, the next century will be defined by interactive arts. And gaming is at the core. …

Jin Oh

President of Worldwide Publishing, Riot Games. LA via Korea, Singapore, the Philippines, and around the US. Proud father of two. Ahri main in League of Legends.

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