Riot Games

Riot Games Cuts 530 Jobs, Refocusing on Fewer Projects

The layoffs equal about 11% of staff

Another hammer has fallen in 2024. Riot Games is the latest company to lay off hundreds of employees.

The company, which is now owned by global giant Tencent, says it will be letting go of 530 staff globally,  or 11 percent of their employees.

In a blog post, CEO Dylan Jadeja writes: “Riot more than doubled in headcount, we spread our efforts across more and more projects without sharp enough razors to decide what players needed most.”

For those that don’t know, Riot Games is the developer of massive games like League of Legends, Legend of Runterra, and the Netflix series Arcane.

Only a year ago, the company also laid off just under 50 people. A small amount compared to the most recent move, but not insignificant. At that time, Riot called it a “strategic shift.”

Today, it was all about” going back to putting games at the center of everything we do” and a “vision for the future is bold and our commitment to our core live games – League of Legends, Valorant, Teamfight Tactics, and Wild Rift.”

What Projects Will Be Affected?

In the Riot Games blog post, Jadeja also linked to the letter sent out to employees when the news broke to staff across the company.

While the transparency can be seen as refreshing, over 500 of those on that list are being let go, and many of their projects will be taking the same path.

Legends of Runeterra and Riot Forge are the most significant items on the chopping block.

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Legends of Runeterra is a collectable card game (CCG) that has been available for a few years.

The post about the layoffs reads, “LoR has faced financial challenges since launch, costing significantly more to develop and support than it generates. In response, we’re reducing the size of our team and renewing our focus on The Path of Champions.”

Anyone wanting more profound insight into the changes can head here and expect a video update about what’s next shortly.

Riot Forge was a move Riot Games made a few years back, teaming up with indie developers to create games in the League of Legends universe with a new and fresh perspective. Sadly, this project is being completely cut.

“We’re ending new game development under Riot Forge after the upcoming release of Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story… it’s time to refocus our efforts on the ambitious projects underway internally at Riot.”

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These internal projects are essentially League of Legends, Wild Rift (the mobile version of LoL), and Valorant, the developer’s most popular games.

How Riot Games Got Here

More time is needed to see how this will affect the company and remaining employees, though today’s posts also give us a glimpse into how things got to this point.

The employee letter says the company has nearly doubled since 2019, with the aforementioned ambitious projects being launched. “Our costs have grown to the point where they’re unsustainable, and we’ve left ourselves with no room for experimentation or failure.”

It goes on to say that higher-ups and Riot Games have attempted to slow the bleeding for several months by telling team leads to implement hiring freezes, make trade-offs in their current projects, and refocus on revenue growth.

Both CEO Dylan Jadeja and President Marc Merill sign off at the bottom of the blog post and the letter to employees referencing a “path forward.”

They end their public post by saying, “We’re honing in on what we do best and what resonates most with you… While change can bring uncertainty, it also presents opportunities for growth and innovation.”