Riot Games has announced a major reshuffle, affecting projects like Riot Forge and Legends of Runeterra.
Riot Games, known for its massive successes in the gaming and esports world, has just declared a significant shift in its operational focus. The company is steering away from numerous smaller projects to concentrate on its primary titles and related esports activities, impacting both its games and staff.
This pivot comes amidst a challenging period for the gaming industry, marked by widespread layoffs and financial difficulties. 2023 saw around 9,000 developers lose their jobs, a trend that’s unfortunately continuing into 2024. Riot’s latest move mirrors the industry’s broader trend of scaling back to combat these issues.
Riot’s co-founders, Dylan Jadeja and Marc Merrill, in their recent update, highlighted the necessity of this shift. They explained, “We’ve managed to avoid days like this, but this decision is critical for the future of Riot. […] We spread our efforts across more and more projects without sharp enough razors to decide what players needed most.”
The changes involve cutting around 11% of its global workforce, particularly affecting teams outside core game development.
The core of Riot’s new strategy revolves around their flagship games: League of Legends, VALORANT, Teamfight Tactics, and Wild Rift. Expectations are high for more focused and player-responsive content, events, and long-term plans.
Jaedja and Merrill added, “Esports isn’t just about competition; it’s about the highs, the lows, and the communities that flourish around the games. Entertainment isn’t just about storytelling; it’s a gateway to the deeper narratives, characters, and worlds that enrich the game experience.”
However, this strategic shift has its casualties. Legends of Runeterra faces downsizing, though Riot promises to concentrate on the popular PvE mode, The Path of Champions.
More notably, Riot Forge, an initiative pairing Riot with indie developers, will conclude after the release of its final title, “Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story.” This decision marks an end to a unique chapter in Riot’s history, one that brought diverse storytelling and gaming experiences to the League of Legends universe.
Despite these changes, Riot remains optimistic about its future and its commitment to quality gaming experiences. As the update concluded, “Every endeavor, from development to storytelling to competition, will be crafted to deliver meaningful, memorable experiences with games at the center.”
Riot Games’ strategic shift reflects a larger trend in the gaming industry, focusing on core strengths amidst challenging economic conditions.