- Riot Games announces layoff of 530 staff members, highlighting growing costs and a failure to drive player value as reasons.
- The layoffs at Riot Games are part of a larger trend in the video game industry, with many major studios downsizing and facing uncertainty.
- Despite the staff reductions, Riot Games assures fans that their titles will not be impacted, but some team resizing will occur for Legends of Runeterra.
In yet another blow to workers in the video game industry, Riot Games has announced that it will lay off 530 staff members, or roughly 11% of its employees. The decision follows the unfortunate trend of studio shutdowns, game cancelations, and AAA game studio layoffs that dominated the industry in 2023.
Founded in 2006, Riot Games is the video game developer behind the popular titles League of Legends and Valorant. Its subsidiary, Riot Forge, has served as publisher on a number of games set in the League of Legends universe, such as Ruined King and Song of Nunu. However, this newly announced set of layoffs is set to massively reshape Riot Games and the company’s future.
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First announced in a public letter on the official Riot Games website, CEO A. Dylan Jadeja announced that Riot Games will be letting go of 11% of its staff, resulting in 530 layoffs and the shutdown of Riot Forge. Jadeja stated that Riot has become unsustainable, noting a number of “big bets” that did not pay off. The letter highlights growing costs and a failure to drive player value as key reasons for the layoffs. Jadeja emphasized the workforce cutbacks as a necessity and not simply a tactic to please shareholders. Employees across the company will start receiving emails notifying them of termination, with the first layoffs beginning today and the completion of the staff reductions likely to end over the next few weeks. The CEO assured fans that titles from Riot Games would not be impacted, though Legends of Runeterra will see some team resizing.
“Today, we’re a company without a sharp enough focus, and simply put, we have too many things underway. Some of the significant investments we’ve made aren’t paying off the way we expected them to… Unfortunately, this involves making changes in the area where we invest the most — our headcount.”
– A. Dylan Jadeja, CEO Riot Games
Layoffs Continue to Plague the Video Game Industry
This latest round of layoffs by Riot Games marks yet another downsizing move by an AAA game studio. Last year saw dozens of major names in the industry laying off staff members by the hundreds, with companies such as Ubisoft, Bungie, Embracer Group, Epic Games, and Unity making major cutbacks. Audiences have continued to question the future of the industry, as CEOs frequently note a lack of sustainability as cause for cost-cutting measures. Some have raised a number of concerns surrounding the potential impact on consumers, as the scope of impact of these staffing cutbacks remains to be seen. As Riot and others look to restructure and redirect, many fans remain weary of when these industry layoffs will come to an end.
With the recently released Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Game now marking the final publication from Riot Forge, the Riot Games CEO wants fans to remain optimistic about the future of the company and its releases. Players remain understandably skeptical, as many were hoping the plague of gaming layoffs would remain in 2023. As companies like Riot Games continue to announce workforce reductions, it is unknown just how long this unfortunate trend will last.