"Today, we're a company without focus." League of Legends developer and publisher Riot Games is cutting hundreds of staff, 11% of global workforce affected.

Riot Games logo
(Image credit: Riot Games)

What you need to know

  • Riot Games is the developer and publisher behind multiple games set in the world of Runeterra, best known for the MOBA League of Legends. 
  • Riot Games is cutting 530 jobs, or around 11% of its global workforce. 
  • The company is shifting to focus more on a specific handful of internal projects. 
  • Riot Games is also ending the Riot Forge brand, which saw the publisher partner with independent studios to craft games in Runeterra like Ruined King. 

It's another day ending in "y," which means there's more layoffs in the gaming industry. 

The latest round of cuts is at League of Legends developer and publisher Riot Games. The company shared on Monday that it would be laying off 530 staff, which makes up 11% of its total global workforce. According to Riot Games, this is a result of the company expanding into too many projects too quickly, and hiring slowdowns over the last several months have not been enough to stop the bleeding, resulting in "a company without a sharp enough focus" at the moment.

The company says "this is absolutely the last thing we ever wanted to do," and shared details on a severance package for affected staff, including six months of pay, cash bonuses, and the ability to retain Riot shares for vesting. 

Riot Games is winding down support for Legends of Runeterra, while the company is also cutting the Riot Forge program which saw independent studios partner with Riot Games on titles set in the world of Runeterra, such as Ruined King: A League of Legends Story, developed by Airship Syndicate. 

Riot Games claims it will be focused more on a slimmer selection of internal projects for the future, including Arcane season 2 (which is slated to launch in November 2024), updates for League of Legends, Wild Rift, Valorant, and continued development on its fighting game, Project L. 

What does this mean for players of these games?

Wild Rift is a new version of League of Legends built for mobile devices. (Image credit: Riot Games)

If you enjoy playing Riot's existing slate of games outside of Legend of Runeterra, not much will change as League of Legends, Valorant, and the other ongoing games continue to receive support. 

If you were a fan of the Riot Forge program, however, then you'll see an immediate reduction in the number of games you'll be playing as this program is being discontinued. Riot Games notes that it's still open to potential partnerships in the future, but that "we would want it to look pretty different in the future" if such a thing were to occur. 

Analysis: Come on, 2024

The last year has been utterly brutal for the gaming industry, with layoffs across the board from bigger developers like Sony-owned Bungie to numerous Embracer-owned studios such as Lost Boys Interactive. Thousands have lost their jobs as studios are being closed or slimmed down, while executives at the top don't seem to be taking pay cuts or a reduction in hefty bonuses. 

Riot Games has crafted some of the best Windows PC games of all time, and it's frustrating to see this happening to some of the talented people responsible for that success. As the layoffs pile up, I can only hope that increased desire for unionization in the game industry can help push back against the seemingly-inevitable tide of shareholder-driven devastation that's currently playing out. 

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.