Riot Games announced Monday evening that it will lay off 530 employees, or 11% of its global workforce, across multiple departments. In an open letter to the community signed by Riot Games Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder Marc Merrill and CEO Dylan Jadeja, the company said that the “biggest impact” will be to teams outside of core development properties—League of Legends, Valorant, Wild Rift, and Teamfight Tactics.
Those affected by the layoffs will receive a minimum of six months of salary; a cash bonus “equal to 1x (100% of) everyone’s individual 2023 Annual Performance Bonus (APB) target” even if Rioters joined within the last year; health benefits “through their last day of employment” and additional pay to cover their health benefits (medical, dental and vision), equal to the length of severance pay; $1,000 to cover expenses that would have been covered by the company’s Play Fund & Wellness Fund; access to a computer after returning their work computers; job placement services for six months; three months of access to the Rioter Assistance Program (emotional, legal, and financial help); support for those who hold work-related visas; and access to Riot emails for an extended but limited time depending on the region they work in.
Riot also confirmed that Project L—its upcoming fighting game—is still in the pipeline, along with Arcane Season Two (on Netflix—releasing in November), and a “number of projects cooking in various stages of R&D.” One thing that was not mentioned was its upcoming MMO project, and Riot declined to comment on specific projects when asked Monday evening.
Riot did say that Legends of Runeterra and Riot Forge will feel immediate impact from Monday’s announcement. The Legends of Runeterra team will see a reduction in staff, and the game’s focus will be shifted towards Path of Champions, or player vs. environment (PvE) content.
“Despite critical achievements and the role it’s played in helping to build out the world of Runeterra, LoR has faced financial challenges since launch, costing significantly more to develop and support than it generates.”
More on the changes to Legends of Runeterra can be found in this update from Executive Producer and Game Director Dave Guskin.
Riot also announced that it is ending new game development under Riot Forge after the upcoming release of Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story. Originally, Riot had planned to release six games under Riot Forge, but that plan has changed.
“We’re proud of what we’ve done together to bring these stories to life, but it’s time to refocus our efforts on the ambitious projects underway internally at Riot.”