What’s the Play Fund?


My name is Kallen Paddock, I’m Play Program
Manager here at Riot games which means that I work on several different programs focused
on helping Rioters engage more deeply with our own products as well as products outside
in the gaming industry. I don’t think I ever stop playing. For me, play is constant which is part of
what helps me just like really engage deeply with this job. Through this I’ve built a huge network of
other gamers and people that I can engage with on lots of different things whether it’s
D&D, video games. That’s probably the most rewarding part
for me. The Play Fund was really born out of a holiday
gift. We gave everybody Wiis and realized that while
it was cool to give people Wiis there might be a better use of that money so we decided
‘Hey, what if we did come up with this research fund and gave Rioters the opportunity to deeply
engage with a lot of games that are happening in our sphere.’ Especially as we were developing League of
Legends and more and more in the early days, or developing Mechs vs Minions, being able
to have a lot of Rioters understand board games if they had never been a part of it
was a big asset. The Play Fund really the idea is to grow your
breadth and knowledge of the what’s out there, what our players are playing, what
new experiences are happening. So this allows Rioters as a game developer
from all facets to understand like hey what’s the hot thing right now, what are the cool
mechanics, what are competitors putting out, how do I really get mobile gaming or MMOs
or the products that maybe like I personally have never been into or didn’t have the
funds to drive myself into but now here I have this resource and I have less of an excuse
and I have other Rioters around me who want to jump in with me. So the playfund is $300 a year. You can spend it on tabletop RPGs, mobile
games, your standard digital video games, also board games. We believe in playing like a player, we want
to be a player focused company, to never do that we have to play ourselves. We have to be able to engage with the core
feelings you go through when you play a different game, different experiences. Whether it’s online connectivity, whether
it’s buying through different stores, whether it’s just specific mechanics. At the end of the day we are really focused
on play because one, it helps us understand our players better, but it also helps us as
Rioters also engage with each other and build those bonds across the company.

34 comments

  1. I took a game studies class at University this spring and the main topic of focus was play. It's a very interesting topic and I enjoyed it immensely!

  2. What is it really?

    But more importent.

    WHEN ARE YOU NERFING VLAD AND RIVEN AND ALSO WHY ARE MAGES AND ADC'S SO FCKING STRONG

  3. So basically it's "We give employees money to buy video games"?

    Presumably they're not allowed to buy groceries or pay rent with that money? Why not just add that amount to their salary?

  4. Every. Single. Player. Thinks that Riot will release a new game on their 10th league birthday but instead they will release a fucking board that you'll have to buy and have friends, we don't have friends, that's why we're playing your unbalanced game you pieces of crap, fuck you all at Riot, we are the ones that brought you here and you care about the profit and yourself insteaf of us. Fuck you Riot. Fuck you Marc Merill!

  5. Yeah, I see a lot of Rioters playing tons of different games for research. Although, ironically enough, the game they played to develop their most recent product (Teamfight Tactics) was completely free (Dota Auto Chess).

    Definitely agree that more people should be playing board games on a regular basis if you're into game design. Stripping it down to just the game design fundamentals is crucial in learning what makes good design without all the cosmetic features, which should serve to only enhance gameplay and not replace it.

  6. Why not make an RPG? Setting would be runeterra itself. I'm sure a lot of players would like to roam the lands of league. I would go to ionia and go to the kinkou order, train my character to be a ninja. Then hunt for that rare darkin weapon. Oops I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm sure riot knows what I'm talking about.

  7. You should remove queue dodge from your corporate website. It's basically saying "we'll pay people we don't like $25k to GTFO out of our club." It's fine to have, just that's not the message you want to publicly send.

  8. riot is a fucking greedy company. Have a look at their punishment system, they're banning people incorrectly sometimes with the IFS and then dumb people create new accounts waste more money for Riot to grab. ETERNALS? WTF LOL

  9. fat sjw stagnant cuck bastards
    please make more BBC champions
    because blacks ARE SO SMART RIGHT ? – hejewish agenda propgandizers

  10. Riot games please dont remove events and gamemodes.
    I loved the bilgewater event because it had so much inside it. Instead of focusing on lcs and tft and throwing a orb at us please treat normal players the same way. Most of your community is in gold and silver elo and high elo players that have significance on the community are lcs players and content creators.
    I remembered the bilgewater event because it was gangplanks voice instead of the woman with sarcastic tone. It had twisted fates and graves stories, what you did with gangplank was actually so good. Before the rework he was overpowered but he wasnt as popular as other champions.

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