In the last three months, Riot Games has cut more than 500 jobs
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In the last three months, Riot Games has cut more than 500 jobs

Approximately 11 percent of the League of Legends developer’s global staff will be laid off as the company focuses on its ‘core live games.’

In the past year, more than 9,000 people lost their jobs in the video game industry, and this trend is continuing in 2024. The latest company to make layoffs is Riot Games, the creator of League of Legends. On Monday night, the company shared that they are making changes to focus on fewer, but more important projects to ensure a better future. Unfortunately, this means they are letting go of 530 people around the world, which is about 11 percent of their total workforce.

Just a few days ago, a survey conducted by the Game Developers Conference (GDC) revealed that 56 percent of the participants believed that their game development studios might face layoffs. The main reason cited for this expectation was a “post-pandemic course correction.” Now, the news about Riot Games’ layoffs adds to the concerns raised by the industry survey.

Riot Games’ CEO, Dylan Jadeja, shared in a company-wide message that some of the significant investments they made didn’t yield the expected results. He specifically mentioned the 10th-anniversary expansions in 2019 that extended the League of Legends universe into new games and different forms of entertainment. For employees whose roles may be affected, there will be meetings with their relevant leads within the next 48 hours. Riot Games is committed to providing a minimum of six months of severance pay, with additional benefits for those who have been with the company for a longer duration.

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The company’s focus is now on prioritizing core live games such as League of Legends, Valorant, Teamfight Tactics, and Wild Rift, along with esports and related events. Notably, the in-progress Project L 2D fighting game featuring League characters is reported to be progressing well, and the second season of the Arcane TV show for Netflix is scheduled to be released in November.

The changes at Riot Games are directly impacting projects like Legends of Runeterra, the free-to-play card game announced in 2019. Dylan Jadeja mentioned that this game “hasn’t performed as well as we need it to,” leading to a reduction in the team and a refocus on the PvE game mode. Another affected project is the Riot Forge publishing label, also unveiled in 2019, which collaborated with smaller studios to create more League-related titles.

Riot Forge, having published six titles, including the Netflix mobile exclusive Hextech Mayhem, will be shut down after releasing Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story.

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Jadeja emphasized that these cuts are not just to please investors but are part of an effort to concentrate on aspects that provide the most value to players – the things that truly matter to players’ time. However, this doesn’t diminish the impact on those directly affected or the broader concerns across the industry. Kotaku’s layoff tracker has already recorded over 3,800 job losses in 2024, and it’s only January.

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