“Today, I’m sharing a decision we hoped we would never have to make at Riot,” CEO Dylan Jadeja said. “We’re changing some of the bets we’ve made and shifting how we work across the company to create focus and move us toward a more sustainable future.
“I realize this is awful news to hear, and especially hard for those who will be leaving us. To all the Rioters who are being laid off, we are deeply sorry that it has come to this.”
The layoffs come as Jadeja admits that the company made some “bad bets” during a period of rapid growth since 2019. Because of those self-titled bad bets, decisions on the future of the company had to be made, which ended up including layoffs.
“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, and we’ve left ourselves with no room for experimentation or failure – which is vital to a creative company like ours. All of this puts the core of our business at risk.
Over the past several months, we’ve tried to alter our trajectory in many different ways. We asked leaders to make tradeoffs in the things their teams are working on. We rolled out hiring slowdowns, and in some cases hiring freezes. We put an emphasis on controlling costs while strengthening our revenue growth. All of which has without a doubt been tough for our teams.
But as I’ve dug in with leaders across Riot, it’s become clear to all of us that these changes aren’t enough. We have to do more to focus our business and center our efforts on the things that drive the most player value – the things that are truly worth players’ time. Unfortunately, this involves making changes in the area where we invest the most — our headcount.”
In addition to the layoffs, the studio is shutting down its Riot Forge label. The Riot Forge label was launched as a publisher within the company that handled the release of third-party games that licensed the League of Legends IP. Games published until the label include Ruined King, Song of Nunu, and the upcoming Bandle Tale.
“While we’re proud of what we’ve created in this space, and we’re grateful for the Forge team and for our external partners who made these games happen, we don’t view this as core to our strategy moving forward,” Jadeja said.
As far as the other games in the Riot Games catalog, Jadeja says work on League of Legends, Team Fight Tactics, Valorant, and Wild Rift will be “as committed as ever”. Legends of Runterra is seeing its team downsized due to the low financial performance of the game.