February 23, 2024

Earlier today, Riot Games announced that it is eliminating 530 roles globally, which make up about 11 percent of its workforce. The company publicly delivered this devastating news in two separate posts — one for players, and another for “Rioters,” with the latter detailing severance package and some other benefits to treat the dismissed employees “with respect and grace.”

Additionally, Riot Games shared that it is sunsetting its publishing label, Riot Forge, which has worked on six titles — including Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story due to be released on February 21. In their joint letter to gamers, CEO Dylan Jadeja and co-chairman Marc Merrill described Forge as “an experiment to see what would happen when Rioters partnered with their favorite indie devs,” but now “it’s time to refocus” on their internal projects. Forge will cease operation once it’s done publishing Bandle Tale.

The execs also admitted that their digital collectible card game, Legends of Runeterra, hasn’t been doing well enough financially since its launch in 2020. In the hopes of making this title more sustainable, its development team will be downsized, with its focus shifted to its more popular “The Path of Champions” single-player game mode.

Riot Games’ cutback is the latest blow to the video game industry, after a total of around 9,000 people lost their jobs in 2023 alone. Embracer Group and Unity both laid off around 900 people each, whereas Epic Games fired about 830 people, and EA dismissed more than 1,000 employees. 2024 has only just began, and we fear that this is just the tip of the iceberg for the entire tech industry.