League of Legends maker Riot Games to slash hundreds of jobs

Los Angeles, California - League of Legends maker Riot Games said Monday it will cut around 530 jobs worldwide, describing the layoffs as "a necessity."

Riot Games, the maker of League of Legends, has announced it is laying off around 530 workers.
Riot Games, the maker of League of Legends, has announced it is laying off around 530 workers.  © Chris Delmas / AFP

The layoffs at Riot – owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent – follow a turbulent year for the gaming industry, with job cuts at major firms including Electronic Arts and Ubisoft.

Riot has developed global hits including League of Legends and Valorant, but said it had launched too many projects in recent years.

"Today, we're a company without a sharp enough focus, and simply put, we have too many things underway," Riot CEO Dylan Jadeja said in an email to staff.

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"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."

Jadeja said around 530 jobs, or 11% of staff, would be cut globally, without providing a breakdown by location.

Thousands of tech workers face layoffs

Riot Games is just one of several tech and gaming companies laying off workers in droves in recent months.
Riot Games is just one of several tech and gaming companies laying off workers in droves in recent months.  © Chris Delmas / AFP

In addition to its headquarters in Los Angeles, Riot's website lists offices in 20 locations, including Berlin, Sao Paulo, Seoul, and Sydney.

Thousands of people have lost their jobs in the tech sector over the past 18 months, including at some of the world's biggest gaming companies.

Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and streaming platform Twitch have all announced layoffs in this period.

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Riot's League of Legends has rapidly grown into one of the most-watched esports in the world, with tens of millions tuning in to livestreams from competitions every year.

The final of its world championship is widely considered the esports Super Bowl.

In its statement about the layoffs on Monday, Riot said it would prioritize the teams behind League of Legends and other live games.

It said it would also phase out internal game development division Riot Forge.

Cover photo: Chris Delmas / AFP

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