Riot Games, the prominent video game developer known for popular titles like League of Legends and Valorant, has made a tough call to lay off approximately 11% of its workforce, amounting to 530 employees. This decision reflects a broader trend in the gaming industry where rapid expansion has led to unsustainable project scopes.
The announcement, detailed in a candid blog post on their website, sheds light on the company’s current strategic direction. Riot Games acknowledged the necessity of this move, not as a short-term financial fix but as a vital step for their long-term vision. The company admitted to having stretched its resources too thin across multiple projects, necessitating a sharper focus on areas that significantly impact player experience.
Despite the layoffs, Riot Games reassured that key projects like League of Legends, Valorant, Teamfight Tactics, and Wild Rift remain on a stable trajectory with well-established roadmaps. Additionally, the upcoming fighting game, Project L, and the second season of the acclaimed TV show Arcane are also proceeding as planned, with Arcane’s next season scheduled for a November 2024 release.
However, changes are imminent for some of Riot’s initiatives. Riot Forge, the company’s small video game publishing label, will conclude its operations with the release of its last game, ‘Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story’. Similarly, Legends of Runeterra is set for a scale-down, not a cancellation, due to its financial challenges since launch.
In a display of corporate responsibility, Riot Games has made public its severance package for the affected employees, which is notably generous. The package includes six months of severance pay, healthcare benefits, equity, career placement assistance, and visa support. This approach is particularly commendable given the company’s past issues with workplace harassment, signaling a positive change in its corporate culture.
As Riot Games navigates through this significant transition, the industry and its players will be keenly watching how these changes influence the company’s future direction and project execution. The affected employees, whose contributions have been integral to Riot’s success, face a challenging yet hopeful road ahead, with the gaming community and industry peers extending their support.