In another setback for the gaming industry workforce, Riot Games has revealed plans to lay off 530 employees, accounting for approximately 11% of its staff. This move aligns with the prevalent trend of studio closures, game cancellations, and significant layoffs that cast a shadow over the gaming industry in 2023.
Riot Games, renowned for titles like League of Legends and Valorant, and its subsidiary Riot Forge, publisher of games set in the League of Legends universe, including Ruined King and Song of Nunu, is now undergoing a substantial transformation due to the announced layoffs.
CEO A. Dylan Jadeja publicly addressed this decision in a letter on Riot Games' official website. The company cites financial unsustainability, referencing unsuccessful "big bets" and escalating costs that failed to enhance player value as primary reasons for the layoffs. Jadeja stressed that these workforce reductions were deemed essential, not merely a gesture to appease shareholders. Employees are to be notified of their termination through emails, with the layoffs commencing immediately and expected to conclude in the coming weeks. The CEO assured fans that the titles from Riot Games would remain unaffected, although some resizing of the Legends of Runeterra team is anticipated.
The Ongoing Challenge of Layoffs in the Gaming Industry
Riot Games' recent layoffs add to the ongoing series of downsizing measures within AAA game studios. The previous year witnessed numerous industry giants shedding hundreds of staff, including Ubisoft, Bungie, Embracer Group, Epic Games, and Unity, citing a lack of sustainability as a primary reason for these cutbacks. Concerns persist among audiences about the potential impact on consumers, as the full ramifications of these workforce reductions remain uncertain. As Riot Games and others undergo restructuring, fans express apprehension regarding the duration of this unsettling trend.
With Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Game being the final release from Riot Forge, the company's CEO encourages fans to maintain optimism about the future. However, player skepticism is understandable, given the desire for an end to the wave of gaming industry layoffs in 2023. As companies like Riot Games continue to announce workforce reductions, the duration of this unfortunate trend remains uncertain.