League of Legends, Valorant Developer Riot Games to Lay Off About 11 Percent of Staff


Tencent Holdings’ Riot Games plans to lay off 530 employees, or about 11 percent of its staff globally, the online gaming company said on Monday in a blog that included a letter to employees from CEO Dylan Jadeja.

Los Angeles-based Riot, whose popular titles include League of Legends, said teams outside of core development will see the largest impact from layoffs.

Digital games publishers are struggling to grow, as audience hold off on buying expensive titles or stick to fewer games amid high inflation. Early last year, Electronic Arts cut 6 percent staff and gave up some office space.

“Today, we’re a company without a sharp enough focus, and simply put, we have too many things underway. Some of the significant investments we’ve made aren’t paying off the way we expected them to. Our costs have grown to the point where they’re unsustainable,” Jadeja said in the letter.

The changes will allow Riot to focus on its portfolio of live games League of Legends, Valorant, Teamfight Tactics, and Wild Rift, according to a separate blog from Jadeja and co-founder Marc Merrill. The blog claimed that the studio had doubled in headcount over the past few years and long-term sustainability required focusing on high-impact projects. “This isn’t to appease shareholders or to hit a quarterly earnings number—it’s a necessity,” the blog said. 

Riot will stop new game development under “Riot Forge”, and drop some staff and features in Legends of Runeterra.

Tencent, which acquired a majority stake in Riot Games in 2011, also holds stake in fellow US video game developer Epic Games.

© Thomson Reuters 2024

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