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Riot Games
January 22, 2024
June 10, 2024

Riot Games Layoffs: What Happened & Why?

In January 2024, Riot Games, a subsidiary of Tencent Holdings Ltd., announced the layoff of 530 employees, approximately 11% of its workforce. The gaming giant cited a loss of focus due to having too many projects as the reason behind the layoffs. In this article, we'll discuss what happened, why it happened, and the potential future impact of these layoffs on the company and its employees.

Why did Riot Games have layoffs?

Riot Games' decision to lay off 530 employees stemmed from a need to refocus and move towards a more sustainable future. The company had grown rapidly and expanded its portfolio, but it now lacked a sharp enough focus and had too many projects underway. The costs had become unsustainable, leaving no room for experimentation or failure, which is crucial for a creative company like Riot. These factors put the core of the business at risk. The layoffs were part of a restructuring effort to focus the business and center efforts on the things that drive the most player value.

Although there were no specific insights from industry analysts or mentions of broader industry trends in the sources, the message from Riot Games' CEO, Dylan, acknowledged that some investments made since 2019 to improve the player experience had not paid off as expected. The company had tried various measures to alter its trajectory, such as making tradeoffs, implementing hiring slowdowns, and controlling costs. However, it became clear that more needed to be done to focus the business. Affected employees were offered severance packages, including severance pay, a cash bonus, continued health benefits, additional funds for planned expenses, retention of vested equity, a computer, career support, access to counseling services, and support for visa-related challenges.

Financial Impact and Future Directions

Riot Games has recently undergone significant restructuring, including the layoff of its workforce. This strategic move aims to sharpen the company's focus on its core games and high-impact projects, following a period of rapid expansion that led to unsustainable costs and a diluted focus on too many projects.

Despite the scale of the layoffs, Riot Games is committed to maintaining robust support for its main titles such as League of Legends, VALORANT, and others, ensuring they remain central to the company's future plans. The layoffs also coincide with a reduction in teams for projects that haven't met financial expectations, such as Legends of Runeterra, and the cessation of Riot Forge, which collaborated with external studios on game development.

Impact on Industry

The future impact of Riot Games' layoffs on the Consumer industry is not explicitly mentioned in the available sources. However, the company's commitment to its core games and exploration in R&D suggests that they aim to maintain their presence in the industry. The strategic shifts, such as reducing the team size for Legends of Runeterra and sunsetting Riot Forge, indicate that Riot Games is focusing on long-term sustainability and delivering value to players, which could potentially influence the industry's direction and priorities.


Riot Games laid off 530 employees to refocus on core projects and ensure long-term sustainability. The company will continue to commit to popular games and R&D exploration while making strategic shifts like reducing Legends of Runeterra's team size and sunsetting Riot Forge. These developments could impact the broader market by influencing industry priorities and direction. Riot Games' future actions may further emphasize delivering value to players and maintaining a strong industry presence.