Riot Games Lays Off 530 Employees, Sunsetting Riot Forge

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Riot Games, the team behind League of Legends and Valorant, has announced that it has laid off 530 employees. This equates to roughly 11% of the workforce at the studio.

The news comes from a Riot Games blog post where A. Dylan Jadeja, the CEO of Riot Games, wrote, “I’m accountable for the changes we’re making and where we’re headed in the future. So, I think it’s important for me to share how we got here and how the next few days will work.”

A big reason why Jadeja claims the layoffs are happening is because, in 2019, the company decided to create “new experiences” and broaden its portfolio. The company was forced to bring more people on board within just a few years.

Jadeja continues by explaining that Riot Games is “a company without a sharp enough focus,” and many of the “significant investments” that have been made aren’t paying off the way the studio expected them to.

“Our costs have grown to the point where they’re unsustainable, and we’ve left ourselves with no room for experimentation or failure – which is vital to a creative company like ours. All of this puts the core of our business at risk.”

According to Jadeja, the studio tried to avoid layoffs by having people work on different projects, slowing the hiring rate, and even putting hiring freezes in place.

“A decision like this has a massive impact on people’s lives and on the culture of Riot. We’re not doing this to appease shareholders or to hit some quarterly earnings number – we’ve made this decision because it’s a necessity. It’s what we need to do in order to maintain a long-term focus for players.”

Jadeja goes on to say that some Riot employees will begin to receive emails informing them that they’ve been let go. After that, each employee will have the chance to meet up “with their Senior Leader and People team partner and discuss next steps within 48 hours,” but the process of doing this “may take several weeks to finish.”

Those who lost their roles and aren’t moving into new positions will receive the following:

  • Severance Pay
  • Cash Bonus
  • Health Benefits
  • Play Fund, Wellness Fund
  • Equity
  • Computer
  • Career Support
  • Rioter Assistance Program
  • Visa Support
  • Riot Email Access

Near the end of the blog post, Jadeja states that the company is still invested in all its games and committed to “esports and entertainment.” But because of the layoffs, this will affect some of their games, such as Legends of Runeterra. Going forward, the studio will reduce its team and shift its “focus to the ‘Path of Champions’ PvE game mode.” In addition, the company will be sunsetting Riot Forge after the release of Bandle Tale.

In another blog post, the company explained that its vision for League of Legends, Valorant, Teamfight Tactics, and Wild Rift “is more ambitious than ever.” It’ll focus more on these teams so they can work on what the community has been asking for and on more content overall. On top of that, Riot Games is still working on Project L, Arcane Season 2, and other unannounced projects.

Unfortunately, this is just the most recent story of layoffs this year. Unity had major layoffs which impacted 25% percent of its workforce, and indie publisher Thunderful announced it would be laying off 20% of its staff.