In a somber announcement earlier today, Riot Games revealed that it is laying off 530 employees globally, representing around 11% of its total workforce. The company broke the devastating news in two separate letters – one addressed to players, and another to impacted “Rioters”, detailing severance packages in an attempt to treat dismissed staff with “respect and grace”.
Additionally, Riot shared it is shuttering its publishing label Riot Forge, which has worked on six titles including the upcoming Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story set for release on February 21st. In a joint letter to gamers, CEO Dylan Jadeja and co-chairman Marc Merrill described Forge as “an experiment to see what would happen when Rioters partnered with their favorite indie devs,” but said now is the time to “refocus” on internal projects. Forge will cease operations after publishing Bandle Tale.
The execs also acknowledged their digital card game Legends of Runeterra has struggled financially since launching in 2020. In hopes of making the title more sustainable, its development team will be downsized and focus shifted to its popular single-player mode “The Path of Champions.”
Riot’s cutbacks represent the latest blow to the video game industry, after approximately 9,000 jobs were lost in 2023 alone. Major players like Embracer Group, Unity, Epic Games and EA have all made significant layoffs recently. With 2024 just beginning, there is fear this is only the tip of the iceberg for the tech industry as a whole.
While necessary for business survival, news of mass layoffs is always tragic. Our thoughts go out to all those impacted, as well as the family and friends supporting them during this difficult time.