League of Legends publisher Riot Games lays off over 500 employees, shutters Riot Forge

Riot Games protest walkout legal action lawsuit response statement
Riot Games

League of Legends publisher Riot Games has cut 11% of its staff, resulting in 530 layoffs. The major company restructure will see the company’s entire Riot Forge studio shut down and include cuts to the Legends of Runeterra development team.

Riot Games announced the move in two blog posts on its website. One details the scope of the layoffs and outlines how severance is being handled. The other goes into Riot’s vision for its future, which will double down on established games like League of Legends and Valorant, as well as its upcoming fighting game Project L.

“Our vision for the future is bold and our commitment to our core live games — League of Legends, Valorant, Teamfight Tactics, and Wild Rift — is more ambitious than ever,” the blog post states. “We’re prioritizing these teams so they can focus on the content, features, and updates that directly respond to what you’ve been asking for. Expect events, modes, and long-term road maps that lead to vibrant (hopefully multi-decade) futures for these games.”

The biggest change is that Riot end all new game development at Riot Forge. The publishing label was founded in 2019 and worked with smaller studios to create games in the League of Legends universe. The label produced several critically acclaimed titles, including The Mageseeker and Song of Nunu.

Impacted employees will receive six months of severance and keep access to their Riot email accounts for an unspecified period of time after being informed of their termination.

The news continues a worrying trend for the video game industry, which has laid off thousands of workers in the past year. In 2023, game companies laid off an upwards of 6,500 workers. That number has continued to rise in the first month of 2024, with the Riot layoffs ballooning that count significantly.

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