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Blizzard developers join Riot Games' online title

Former World of Warcraft designers join League of Legends development team

Two former Blizzard staffers have joined the ranks at Riot Games and will be bringing their expertise to the company's first online multiplayer game, League of Legends.

Tom Cadwell will join the team as director of systems design, having formerly worked as a designer on World of Warcraft and Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne. Shawn Carnes joins as lead creative designer, a role which will see him manage the League of Legends intellectual property.

Carnes most recently worked as Blizzard's lead developer of licensed products where he built and managed both the World of Warcraft trading card game and the Starcraft board game. He also worked as a designer on WOW.

"Tom and Shawn are two amazingly talented guys who augment our already potent development team," Brandon Beck, co-founder and CEO of Riot Games said of the appointments. "Both will play an important role in the continuous evolution of Riot Games as a premier online videogame developer/publisher as we build our product portfolio."

"Working at Riot Games is one of those once in a lifetime opportunities that is just too good to pass up. I am working with people that I've worked with in the industry before," said Shawn Carnes on his new role.

Riot Games is an independent studio formed in 2006 and based in Los Angeles. The company is funded privately through venture capital firms Benchmark and Firstmark.

League of Legends will be the studio's first game and is described as an online multiplayer session-based game that combines elements of role-playing and strategy genres with battle action in a whimsical universe. It will be released on PC and a release date is yet to be confirmed.

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Kath Brice