[UPDATE] Riot Games confirmed the news, adding that 46 employees were affected. Here's a statement shared by a company spokesperson.
Riot Games implemented strategic shifts within a few teams to sharpen our focus in a number of areas. With these shifts, certain roles were eliminated, impacting a total of 46 Rioters. This is part of our normal course of our business: We periodically make changes to our structure and our teams based on what we believe will allow us to deliver the best content and experiences for players.
We never make these decisions lightly and will always start from a place of wanting to retain Rioters and have them focus on our highest priorities. While that's not always possible, it's our primary goal.
[ORIGINAL STORY] Following yesterday's news of layoffs hitting multiple divisions within Microsoft, reporter Jacob Wolf wrote on Twitter that Riot Games is also reducing its workforce across areas like eSports, HR, and support.
It is another sign of a trend already practiced recently by tech companies like Google, Amazon, and more, all of which had greatly increased their workforce during the pandemic and now find themselves in the position to downsize slightly amidst a near-recession environment.
Gil Luria, an analyst at DA Davidson, told CNBC:
I think there’s been a broad expectation from all these companies, especially the ones that hired more over the last two to three years, to adapt and react to a slower-growth environment and show the discipline and the focus on shareholder value that investors need to feel right now as they try to ride out a slower-growing economy.
To be clear, Riot Games did not confirm the layoffs yet, nor do we know the size of them in case they did happen as reported.
Riot Games, one of the top earning game companies thanks to League of Legends, Teamfight Tactics, League of Legends: Wild Rift, Legends of Runeterra, and Valorant, found itself amid a huge controversy because of the widespread discrimination against its female employees, which led to a lawsuit that ended last year with a settlement of $100 million for a total of a thousand female employees.
The studio's upcoming lineup includes the fighting game Project L, the hack-and-slash ARPG Project F, and the untitled MMORPG, all based on the League of Legends IP. Riot Games isn't just developing games internally anymore, by the way. The company is now also publishing third-party games made in the League of Legends IP, such as Ruined King, Hextech Mayhem, and the upcoming Conv/rgence and Song of Nuru.
In late 2021, Riot Games also made a big splash on Netflix with Arcane, an award-winning animated series based on League of Legends. A second season is currently in production.