Riot Games lays off over hundreds, cancels Forge projects
Layoffs gripped the gaming industry in 2023, and it looks like 2024 is already working overtime to keep it a norm. Big studios are accused of looking after their own profits and trying to keep overheads comfortable by shifting staff out of the door after all of their hard work, and it's immensely bleak to watch.
The developer responsible for the best feature of your favourite game last year might've been sacked, and while the industry deserves better, it isn't getting it. In clearly sad post, Riot Games has revealed that it's joining the club.
Riot Games lays off 530 employees
The team behind League of Legends and VALORANT has revealed that it is laying off 530 members of its staff, amounting to 11% of its workforce. The statement revealing the news insisted that the layoffs had nothing to do with overheads or profits, claiming that "it's a necessity."
"Over the past few years, as Riot more than doubled in headcount, we spread our efforts across more and more projects without sharp enough razors to decide what players needed most," says the post. "The adjustments we're making aim to focus us on the areas that have the greatest impact on your experience while reducing investment on things that don’t."
Riot goes on to insist that the aims of the studio remain with games at its core, but it doesn't change a lot about the facts. 530 people have lost their livelihoods, and Riot Games has haemorrhaged more members of staff than ever in its history.
Riot Games’ layoffs are a dangerous starting point
These layoffs are massively depressing for the wider industry as well as internally at Riot, and as pointed out by Tom Warren of The Verge, it has set 2024 on a pretty terrible course.
Warren suggests on Twitter that these numbers add to make 3,000 game developers who have lost their jobs already in January 2024, compared to the 6,500 across the entirety of 2023. At this rate, 2024 could be the worst year in gaming history to be a developer.
We're sending our love to everyone affected by these layoffs. They're brutal, and yet, the worst part is it doesn't look to be slowing. Brace for impact because we're not out of the woods yet.