Riot confirms 530 layoffs: ‘This isn’t to appease shareholders… it’s necessary’ | VGC

Riot Games is the latest games industry firm to confirm significant layoffs.

In a lengthy statement published on its website on Monday, the League of Legends studio confirmed it will be eliminating about 530 roles globally, which represents around 11% of all employees.

According to Riot, the biggest impact will be made to teams outside of core development.

“For most of our history, we’ve managed to avoid days like this, but this decision is critical for the future of Riot,” the company said in a statement. “This isn’t to appease shareholders or to hit a quarterly earnings number—it’s a necessity.

“Over the past few years, as 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.

“The adjustments we’re making aim to focus us on the areas that have the greatest impact on your experience while reducing investment on things that don’t.”

As part of the changes, Riot said it will focus on internal development, and supporting League of Legends, Valorant, Teamfight Tactics, and Wild Rift.

Legends of Runeterra, the collectible card game released in 2020, will see its team and scope downsized due to “financial challenges” since launch.

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“Despite critical achievements and the role it’s played in helping to build out the world of Runeterra, LoR has faced financial challenges since launch, costing significantly more to develop and support than it generates,” the company said.

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Riot will also be ending its third-party publishing label ‘Riot Forge’ after the upcoming release of Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story.

“Forge was an experiment to see what would happen when Rioters partnered with their favorite indie devs and let them loose on Runeterra with their unique viewpoints, styles, and expertise,” the company said.

“We’re proud of what we’ve done together to bring these stories to life, but it’s time to refocus our efforts on the ambitious projects underway internally at Riot.”

Job losses across the games industry were widespread in 2023, with 9,000 layoffs estimated, and they don’t appear to be slowing this year.

According to a GDC survey, around a third of developers say they were impacted by layoffs at their workplace over a 12-month period.

Of 3,000 developers surveyed, 35% said they were impacted by layoffs during this period – 7% were personally laid off, a further 17% said colleagues in their department were laid off, and 11% said other teams or departments had layoffs.

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