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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

LoL developer Riot Games lays off over 500 employees, plans to publish fewer games in future

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A tenth of Riot’s workforce has to leave because the studio wants to focus more strongly. The single-player project Riot Forge is being scrapped.

The wave of redundancies in the video game industry continues Now it is also affecting around 530 employees at developer giant Riot Games (League of LegendsValorant). The studio announced this in a press release, which also states the official reasons for the terminations

Why are Riot Games laying off so many people?

Riot’s CEO Dylan Jadeja justifies the layoffs in his statement with an upcoming change in strategy. This was absolutely necessary to secure the future of the company, which has belonged to Chinese gaming giant Tencent since 2011.

The company has expanded its portfolio since 2019 and doubled the size of its studio in a short space of time. Today, the company no longer has a sharp focus and some investments have not paid off sufficiently. All previous cost-cutting measures have not had sufficient effect, which is why it is now time to focus on personnel. They want to concentrate on the core games, i.e. League of Legends and co.

Around 530 redundant employees correspond to around 11 percent of the total workforce. Departments worldwide are affected by redundancies. Two teams in particular are affected:

  • Riot Forge: Under this label, Riot cooperated as a publisher with indie studios that developed single-player games in the LoL universe. These included Ruined King and Song of Nunu. This is no longer part of the company’s strategy and Riot Forge will be dissolved. If single-player games were to be developed in the future, they would look “quite different”. There is no further explanation.
  • Legends of Runeterra: The card game did not generate enough profit, so the development team will be downsized and the focus will be on the PvE mode “Path of Champions”.

The Riot CEO is also remorseful in the statement and emphasizes how reluctant he is to make these decisions

I want to make something very clear: this is absolutely the last thing we ever wanted to do. A decision like this has a massive impact on people’s lives and on Riot’s culture. We’re not doing this to appease shareholders or to hit any quarterly numbers – we made this decision because it’s a necessity.

The affected employees received their redundancy notices by e-mail yesterday. They are to receive at least six months’ salary as severance pay and the option to temporarily continue their health insurance (in the USA, health insurance is often linked to the employer, so termination can lead to loss).

In addition, they are offering support in finding a job and advising those who are now having visa problems. Riot is just another of numerous studios that are currently laying off employees. 

The wave of layoffs is affecting studios internationally, which are either downsizing – or being shut down by their owners. This is partly due to the coronavirus pandemic, during which many more people were involved in video games and studios hired new employees to meet the exploding demand. After the end of the restrictions, this is now turning out to be a miscalculation in some cases.

Age: 25 Origin: Bulgaria Hobbies: Gaming Profession: Online editor, student


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