Riot Games, a prominent global video game developer, has astounded the gaming community by revealing plans to reduce their workforce by 11%. The company has made this decision in order to concentrate on a select few projects that have a significant impact, thereby enhancing and securing their business model for the long term.
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Why did Riot make this decision?
In an official statement, Riot Games, a billion-dollar company, acknowledged that they had previously expanded their workforce to support the development of new projects like Legends of Runeterra and Riot Forge. However, as time passed, Riot’s management became increasingly dissatisfied with the size of their team, raising doubts about the soundness of their decision.
What to expect from these changes?
Riot Games aims to concentrate its efforts on its four primary projects: Valorant, League of Legends, Teamfight Tactics, and Wild Rift. These four games have gained immense popularity and achieved remarkable success under Riot’s banner.
To prioritize these games, the company will restructure its teams, focusing on generating more content, features, and updates that directly cater to player demands. Riot is committed to hosting frequent events, introducing new gameplay modes, and outlining a clear roadmap for the future development of these games. Additionally, Riot has emphasized its strategic focus on esports, music, and entertainment, as evidenced by recent format changes to the Valorant Champions Tour and the upcoming second season of their League of Legends series on Netflix, titled “Arcane,” set to release in November 2024.
To deliver on these promises, Riot requires the financial flexibility necessary for execution, which is one of the primary reasons behind the decision to reduce their workforce by over ten percent.
Community reaction to the announcement
While fans of Valorant, League of Legends, Teamfight Tactics, and Wild Rift can find solace in the fact that their beloved games will continue to receive attention and active development, it’s important to acknowledge the human impact of Riot’s decision. The employees affected by the layoffs have families to support, and the response on Riot’s Twitter post reflects the discontent among some users.
One Twitter user voiced their dissatisfaction, claiming that Riot is overestimating the spending capacity of its players, who are supposedly fond of purchasing in-game skins. The user criticized the exorbitant prices of these cosmetic items, with new sets costing up to $60. They questioned where the revenue from these packs was being allocated and why Riot couldn’t use it to support their employees’ positions. Notably, the Valorant 2024 Champions skins bundle alone generated over $20 million in profit for the company.
One of the 530 employees who were laid off shared their concerns on Twitter, expressing shock and apprehension about the prospects of finding a new job promptly. Their sentiments highlight the personal impact of the workforce reduction.
Another employee revealed that they were caught off guard by their sudden termination and received no severance package or compensation for the premature termination of their employment contract. It appears that Riot had initially pledged to provide at least six months’ salary as compensation, but failed to fully fulfill these promises.
Thankfully, the reputation of Riot employees as highly skilled individuals is widely recognized. Some business owners have already stepped forward and are extending job offers to those affected by the recent wave of unexpected layoffs within the company.