The creators of the computer game League of Legends have acquired a 156,000 square-foot office near Seattle in Mercer Island, Wash.
Riot Games confirmed to GeekWire that it paid $114.1 million for the Mercer Park Workplace office building, its fourth U.S. hub. The new Seattle-area office will eventually be a “world-class facility” for Riot, which maintains more than 20 branch offices around the world in addition to its headquarters in Los Angeles.
Riot plans to hire more than 400 new employees for the Mercer Island office, which is slated to pursue “engineering, research and development, and live services for genre-defining games.” Workers will primarily focus on Riot’s hit game Valorant.
Riot already has an office in nearby Bellevue, Wash., with more than 50 employees. The company intends to temporarily lease a larger space in Bellevue — which is experiencing a huge tech boom — to aid its transition to the Mercer Island office, with no stated timeline for the move.
“When it comes to contributions to gaming, few cities in the U.S. have been as impactful as Seattle,” Riot said in a blog post. “While Riot has had a presence in the Seattle area for a few years, we’re taking our relationship with the Emerald City to the next level.”
The Registry first reported news of the office purchase. Its previous owner bought the property for $46.5 million in 2020, according to The Registry.
Riot is one of more than 100 out-of-town tech companies that have opened up engineering offices in the Seattle region, tapping into the area’s dense tech talent base. Wayfair, Databricks, ByteDance, and Lessen have all made Seattle-area office announcements in recent months.
The region is also rich with gaming talent, thanks to longtime industry leaders such as Xbox, Microsoft’s 343 Industries, Nintendo, Bungie (which is expanding), and many other companies with offices in the area.
Founded in 2006, Riot Games is primarily known for its popular multiplayer online battle arena League of Legends. Since its debut in 2009, League has risen to become one of the biggest titles in the modern games industry, with an estimated 180 million monthly players as of November.
It’s also one of the biggest games on the esports scene, if not the biggest; more than 73 million people tuned in to watch the livestreamed League world championships last month, where teams from South Korea and China faced off for the crown.
In addition to League, Riot has recently expanded its development efforts to include the head-to-head “hero shooter” Valorant, as well as several spin-off projects set in League‘s universe. This includes Arcane, an episodic animated series starring several of League‘s most popular characters, which debuted on Netflix in early November.
Riot reportedly earned $1.75 billion in revenue last year.
The new office comes alongside and in addition to last month’s announcement that Seattle is the second of three cities worldwide where Riot plans to open a remote broadcast center, in addition to Dublin and an unspecified location in the Asia-Pacific region.
Under this initiative, called “Project Stryker,” Riot intends to expand its esports events schedule and content creation. The idea is reportedly that, by strategically placing studios and production teams around the world, Riot’s team will be able to tap into the remote broadcast centers to expand its coverage to every event worldwide that includes Riot’s games lineup.