I regret to inform you of a decision that we had hoped to avoid at Riot. We are making adjustments to our strategies and restructuring our operations to ensure a more focused and sustainable future. Unfortunately, this means that approximately 530 positions globally, around 11% of our workforce, will be eliminated, primarily affecting teams outside of core development. This also entails bidding farewell to many talented colleagues and friends across all areas of Riot.
I understand that this news is disheartening, especially for those who will be leaving us. To those Rioters who are affected by the layoffs, we sincerely apologize for the impact this decision has on you.
As the CEO, I take accountability for the changes we are implementing and the direction we are heading in. It’s crucial for me to explain how we reached this point and outline the steps we’ll be taking in the coming days.
How we arrived here:
Since 2019, we made significant investments across the company to enhance the player experience. We expanded our portfolio, diversified our offerings, and rapidly grew into a multi-game, multi-experience company. However, we now find ourselves lacking a sharp focus, with too many initiatives underway. Some of our substantial investments have not yielded the expected returns, leading to unsustainable costs and a lack of room for experimentation—a crucial aspect of a creative company like ours. These challenges jeopardize the core of our business.
Despite efforts over the past several months to alter our trajectory, it has become apparent that more decisive action is necessary. This involves streamlining our business, with the most significant impact on our headcount.
I want to emphasize that this decision was not taken lightly. It has profound effects on people’s lives and our company culture. We are not making these changes to appease shareholders but out of necessity to maintain a long-term focus for players.
How this will be implemented:
There is no ideal way to execute a layoff, but our guiding principle is to treat Rioters with respect and grace. Within the next hour, Rioters worldwide will receive an email informing them of the potential impact on their roles. Subsequently, affected Rioters will have meetings with their Senior Leader and People team partner within 48 hours to discuss next steps. These meetings will be completed this week in the US, while it may take several weeks globally to adhere to local laws and regulations.
Rioters whose roles are affected will be offered:
– Severance Pay: A minimum of 6 months of salary, in line with local laws.
– Cash Bonus: A cash bonus equal to 1x (100%) of everyone’s individual 2023 Annual Performance Bonus (APB) target.
– Health Benefits: Continued coverage through the last day of employment, with additional pay to cover health benefits.
– Play Fund, Wellness Fund, etc.: An additional $1000 (or local equivalent) for planned future expenses.
– Equity: Rioters with vested instruments will retain them, subject to terms and conditions.
– Computer: Option to request a laptop for job search purposes.
– Career Support: Access to job placement services for 6 months.
– Rioter Assistance Program: Access to RAP 24/7 for three months, including enhanced employee assistance programs.
– Visa Support: Dedicated support for Rioters holding visas.
– Riot Email Access: Continued access for a limited time after notification.
We recognize that this week will not be business as usual, and we ask for understanding and support as we navigate these changes together.
Impact on our portfolio:
While we remain committed to League PC, VALORANT, TFT, Wild Rift, and exploration in R&D, we are making adjustments to ensure effective development. Two notable changes include moving Legends of Runeterra towards sustainability by reducing the team size and focusing on the ‘Path of Champions’ PvE game mode. Additionally, Riot Forge will be sunsetted after the release of Bandle Tale, as it no longer aligns with our core strategy.
In early February, we will hold a product-focused RiotNow to delve deeper into our portfolio and discuss plans for players in 2024.
The path forward:
This is undoubtedly a somber moment. To those leaving, we extend our deepest gratitude for your contributions to Riot, and we are committed to supporting you during this transition. For those staying, we understand the challenges you may face and assure you that our vision for the future remains ambitious. By creating focus together, thinking long-term, and operating as One Riot, we believe we can emerge stronger and continue to enhance the player experience.
While we initially intended to keep this news within our internal community, we understand that the broader gaming community cares deeply about the people behind their favorite games. Therefore, I am sharing this email publicly on riotgames.com to address potential questions.
We will hold a Riot WW Town Hall on Thursday to provide more context on this moment and portfolio changes.
Thank you to all Rioters, past and present, for your passion and dedication.