Riot Games is making 530 staff redundant in a big shake-up that’s going to see the company refocus, axing their Riot Forge publishing arm and changing development to Legends of Runeterra.
In an open letter to all staff that was published on the Riot Games website, CEO Dylan Jadeja – who stepped into the role in September 2023 – explained the layoffs, outlined the measures the company would be taking to support the employees made redundant, and also how these cuts will affect the company moving forwards.
“Today, I’m sharing a decision we hoped we would never have to make at Riot. We’re changing some of the bets we’ve made and shifting how we work across the company to create focus and move us toward a more sustainable future,” says the letter. “This decision means we’re eliminating about 530 roles globally, which represents around 11% of our workforce, with the biggest impact to teams outside of core development. This also sadly means we’ll be saying goodbye to many talented colleagues and friends across all areas of Riot.”
Jadeja does say that as CEO he’s “accountable for the changes we’re making and where we’re headed in the future.” Before laying out how that works, he puts the blame on the companies diversification saying: “We’ve made a number of big bets across the company with the goal of making it better to be a player. We jumped headfirst into creating new experiences and broadening our portfolio, and grew quickly as we became a multi-game, multi-experience company — expanding our global footprint, changing our operating model, bringing in new talent to match our ambitions, and ultimately doubling the size of Riot in just a few years.”
Jadeja claims the company no longer has a sharp enough focus and has too many projects underway, leaving the company with “unsustainable” costs after significant investments that “didn’t pay off in the way we [Riot Games] expected them to.”
Employees that are terminated will get six months of severance pay in addition to extra cash bonuses, including one based on their 2023 performance bonus and additional stipends around healthcare and internal Riot schemes. There are a few other benefits listed in the open letter, which you can read on the website.
As part of these changes, Riot Games will also be shuttering their publishing arm Riot Forge, first announced in December 2019, after the upcoming release of The Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story. In the letter, Jadeja writes: “We aren’t closing the door entirely on single-player experiences or working with other developers if the right project comes along, but we would want it to look pretty different in the future.”
The spinoff digital card game Legends of Runeterra will also be changing direction. Jadeja claims that Runeterra‘s development was being funded by other Riot titles, but that this is “not a viable option” any longer. The team will be reduced in size and development will shift focus to the Path of Champions PvE mode.
In the post, Jadeja said that Riot was still committed to “League PC, VALORANT, TFT, Wild Rift, and to exploration in R&D.” They also mentioned that there will be a RiotNow stream to talk through Riot’s projects in February. We’ve reached out to Riot for comment, and to ask about the fate of in-development fighting game Project L, which isn’t mentioned at all in the open letter, but they did not respond by the time of publication.
If you’re looking for some top game recommendations, consult our guides to the best indie games or the best indie horror games.