Riot Games cuts more than 500 jobs
After last year saw over 9,000 layoffs in the video game industry, 2024 is continuing the trend, and League of Legends maker Riot Games is the latest example. On Monday night, the company announced that “we are refocusing on fewer, high-impact projects to move us toward a more sustainable future,” which means eliminating roles for 530 people globally, or about 11 percent of its total workforce.
Legends of Runeterra and Riot Forge cuts are part of the ‘adjustments’
CEO Dylan Jadeja said in a company-wide message, “Some of the significant investments we’ve made aren’t paying off the way we expected them to,” and pointed to Riot’s 10th-anniversary expansions in 2019 that spread the League of Legends universe across new games and other forms of entertainment. For employees “whose role is or may be impacted,” there will be a meeting with their relevant leads within the next 48 hours, and a minimum of six months of severance pay offered, with more for those who had been with the company longer, as well as other benefits.
What Riot says it’s prioritizing is the core live games it makes, like League of Legends, Valorant, Teamfight Tactics, and Wild Rift, as well as esports and events tied to those titles. Similarly, the still-in-development Project L 2D fighting game with League characters is said to be “making great progress,” and season two of its Arcane TV show for Netflix is on track to come out in November.
The projects directly affected by the changes include Legends of Runeterra, the free-to-play card game announced in 2019 that Jadeja said “hasn’t performed as well as we need it to.” That team is being reduced and focused on the PvE game mode. The other target in Riot’s current gaming portfolio is the Riot Forge publishing label, also announced in 2019, to partner with smaller studios that would create more League-related titles.
According to Jadeja, the cuts aren’t to appease investors, but instead, “We have to do more to focus our business and center our efforts on the things that drive the most player value – the things that are truly worth players’ time.” That won’t undo the impact on those directly affected, however, or the chill spreading across the entire industry — a layoff tracker maintained by Kotaku counts over 3,800 jobs lost already in 2024, and it’s still January.
Q: What is the current trend in the video game industry?
A: The current trend in the video game industry is layoffs, with over 9,000 layoffs in 2020 and continued layoffs in 2021.
Q: Which company has recently announced layoffs in the video game industry?
A: Riot Games, the maker of League of Legends, announced layoffs on Monday night, affecting 11% of its workforce.
Q: What is the reason for these layoffs at Riot Games?
A: According to CEO Dylan Jadeja, the company is refocusing on fewer, high-impact projects to move towards a more sustainable future. This means eliminating roles for 530 people globally.