WHO: Bill Barteldes
TEAM: Skins & Events
/PLAYED@RIOT: 4 years
Why did you pursue a career in video games?
I’ve always loved games—some of my earliest memories are from watching my parents play adventure games on our Apple II. I never thought it could be what I do professionally. I’ve just always tried to stay close to the things I’m passionate about, which fortunately brought me to Riot.
You mentioned your passions led you to Riot, what was your journey like?
Growing up I really loved reading and writing, so I majored in English. My first gig post-graduation was at a tutoring center in Colorado. I was really happy there, but I eventually felt stir-crazy, so I moved to California and fell into recruiting. The work was really fun—you spend a lot of your time just talking to people. But, in the back of my mind, I always hoped to eventually write professionally.
After recruiting for two years, I went to a conference in Las Vegas. There was an oversized foosball table at one of the networking events, and I played there for hours. At one point a guy with a Riot Games badge was up against me. I was like, “Riot—That’s awesome! Hand over the RP.”
We talked for a while and he suggested I interview for a recruiting position in Publishing, where I’d work to help build writing teams. And I was in.
So how did you transition from recruiting to writing?
When I was recruiting for Riot, I got to write for the company in my extra time—small projects, like creative copy for Mechs vs Minions, blog posts, stuff like that. I say “small,” but these were incredible opportunities for me.
A few years later a writing role opened up. After another full round of interviews, I managed to snag the job and start writing full time for the Skins team. It’s awesome that I could make that jump at a company like Riot.
What kind of writing do you do?
When people think of writing at Riot, they usually think of narrative: long-form fiction writing, worldbuilding, stuff like that. But my role is mostly creative copywriting, so I work on Publishing campaigns: from big projects like video scripts to smaller assignments like single-sentence flavor copy in the League store.
My day-to-day is totally dependent on the upcoming campaign’s progress. For example, with Odyssey, I helped define the campaign’s overall theme, tone, and guided asset creation. I worked on all kinds of copy, from the script for the video, to smaller pieces like the “Learn More” article, the quiz, and other store announcements.
What’s one of your favorite memories as a Rioter?
I was working late one night shortly after I started. I heard a commotion around the corner from my desk and I walked over to find a bunch of people huddled around this 1v2 League game. One Silver player against a Bronze duo. There were 20 or so people there and everyone was screaming whenever anything happened. It was a bizarre scene, and it was the first time Riot really felt like home.
Keep an eye out for Bilby on Summoner's Rift, where he enjoys "accidentally" Bard ulting his fellow Rioters.