Riot Games

www.riotgames.com
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15 people found this helpful  

Riot's not for everyone. But for a certain type of driven professional, it's genuinely amazing.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA

I have been working at Riot Games full-time (more than 3 years)

Pros

I could write a very long review full of positives and negatives, but will limit myself to four of each.

Positive: *Strong, clear culture* People who manage to survive the interview gauntlet know Riot's values and agree to live by them, and their commitment to the values increases as a result of an intensive onboarding program called “denewbification” and ongoing vigilance against creeping misalignment. Riot’s dedication to this topic is based on a belief that aligned people and teams have more autonomy and more inherent trust in each other. Riot is confident in its culture and doesn't water it down.

Positive: *Meritocratic ideals* I've worked at places where friendship, marriage, or genetic relationships are the primary determinant of who receives the juiciest promotions and pay increases. Riot’s not like that. The leadership works hard to make sure that delivery of exceptional results through collaborative effort is the primary factor considered in assessing someone’s contribution. Those who are accustomed to "family" style environments will have some adjusting to do.

Positive: *Prioritizes long-term business health* Elsewhere in the games industry, a few companies make deals with their investors that result in behaviors that undermine player trust. In an effort to make certain profit or revenue targets for next quarter, these companies monetize in a way makes discerning gamers gag. Riot believes and behaves in a way that puts building player trust first. This is a long-term approach that ultimately results in a healthier business that’s built to last.

Positive: *Spotless ethics* Riot conducts business cleanly and fairly. You’ll feel this when interacting with peers internally (there’s a minimum of backstabbing and other unsavory political behaviors). People who conduct themselves in a Machiavellian fashion are quickly found out and coached into the right behaviors or fired. When it comes to working with vendors and partners, the same ethics apply. This also applies to the hiring and promotions processes -- Riot's blind to gender, sexual orientation, and race, religion and politics when making hiring and promotion decisions.

Cons

Negative: *Favela-style density* We’re still nine months away from moving into our next office space, but we outgrew our current space many months ago. As a result, some people are sitting in aisle-ways and walkways, conference rooms are hard to book, private space for quiet thinking is rare, and environment-induced stress is higher than necessary. The new HQ looks like it’ll be a wonderful relief, and it cannot arrive fast enough.

Negative: *Recruiting difficulties* Our recruiting processes aren't something we’re proud of at present. Candidates report very long and drawn-out interview processes (sometimes taking many months), and hiring managers internally are often frustrated by some of the immature process and systems that we use to manage applicant pipelines. Some of these difficulties are typical of companies that have experienced hyper-growth, some of this is attributable to Riot’s extremely high hiring bar that results in a very low ratio of offers-to-applicants, and some of this is just a result of a recruiting and talent operations functions that are still lacking key leaders who can straighten things out.

Negative: *Immature middle management layer* Because of Riot’s growth, a lot of managers at Riot are first-time managers, and are making first-time management mistakes. This wouldn't be a problem if we had better training for managers and better mentorship systems that paired inexperienced managers with experienced managers to help accelerate the learning curve and minimize preventable mistakes. We’re trying to solve this problem by simultaneously hiring experienced managers (hence some complaints from current Rioters that they feel passed up for promotion) and by building out management training and mentorship systems so that we can successfully elevate more non-managers to management roles. I’m confident that we’ll eventually build a very solid management team, but the current situation is recognized to be suboptimal.

Negative: *Reputation issues* Certain aspects of how Riot operates are misunderstood by some gamers, some press, and some applicants. This is very frustrating to watch from the inside and is a job stressor for those of us who care deeply about seeing Riot recognized in a truthful fashion. Here are two common misconceptions that are particularly bothersome. These things will weigh on you and stress you out if you work at Riot:

(1) Some players doubt our motivations: perhaps because many for-profit businesses hyper-optimize for profit above all else and also because we move fast and make mistakes in execution, players sometimes attribute our decisions to a desire to put profit first. I wish we could invite groups of players in to our meetings where champions are designed, servers are configured, and decisions are made so that they could see that our teams universally put the player experience first.

(2) Some former Rioters who have taken to Glassdoor had bad experiences and believe those experiences are representative of the whole. Reading through some of the very negative reviews here, I believe that we genuinely disappointed these people (in part because of the “recruiting difficulties” and “immature middle management layer” discussed above). But I’m dismayed that these folks believe that the whole company is as bad as their narrow experience. I wish I could apologize to these people and help them understand the bigger picture at the company, because it’s distressing to see them paint the whole company with a broad brush dipped only in the small bucket of their experience.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Advice to Senior Management – Keep reading these reviews. Keep looking for managers in need of coaching (and deliver that coaching!). Continue your vigilance. Your connection to the truth of what's happening “on the ground” so to speak is critical to ensuring that we move forward together and secure the future we all aspire to.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

215 Other Employee Reviews for Riot Games (View Most Recent)

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  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    To be successful, being a good culture fit trumps everything

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Software Engineer in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Intern - Software Engineer in Santa Monica, CA

    I worked at Riot Games as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    - Housing close to the office (5 minute walk) - provided by Riot (but NOT followed up on - lots of problems with the housing company, such as a bad key on move-in and a flood where repairs were not taken care of for weeks)
    - Weekly lunches with "bigwigs" - influential leaders & "faces" of the company. Great advice and great structure here
    - Impactful, meaningful & challenging work. Built a product that will ship to the masses!
    - (for the most part) treated like a full-time Rioter - gave a presentation to an extended team, able to give input in areas outside of the work prescribed, got most benefits of full-time Rioters.
    - TONS of smart people who are always willing to help.
    - Work/life balance encouraged; personally I don't play games during work hours, but it wasn't frowned upon by any means.
    - The amount of swag was WAY TOO MUCH (it was tough to pack my suitcase going home).
    - (For an engineer) growth is insane - the amount of which one can learn is empowering & somewhat overwhelming - try to take in what is possible, not what is "wanted".
    - Floating is encouraged - sometimes a quick half hour wandering around to another team really helps clear your head and give you a sense of what other Rioters are doing at that point in time.

    Cons

    - Internship program is pretty new, meaning lots of kinks to work out (especially regarding where to go and what to do during off-hours)
    - HUGE LACK OF DIRECT FEEDBACK in terms of inter-intern communication.
    - Easy to get off-track in a project when Riot allows you to get involved in other events and projects not directly related to your role
    - Culture fit is everything. Unless you're an all-star in a specific field (I seriously doubt any intern is), Riot will not hesitate to not invite you back if you mess up even once.
    - Zero tolerance policy on any kind of non-positive behaviour / attitude (reputation is everything)
    - Not as "flatly-organized" as originally told - the organization is actually really top-down when it comes to hiring decisions and overall product strategy / vision.
    - Needs to be a dedicated team to the interns, instead of a "part-time project" for people in other teams.
    - Events were decent and frequent (once every other week or so), but bigger tech companies definitely have a better grasp on how to keep interns entertained.
    - Bigger emphasis is needed when it comes to onboarding interns - although a separate presentation was made, the lack of follow-up on this onboarding made the intern experience confusing for the most part

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Rioters in general should be encouraged to find mentors in more experienced Rioters, who then help follow-up and level up the new Rioter (intern, contractor, or full-time) to ensure constant growth and learning.
    - STRESS THE HUGE IMPORTANCE OF CULTURE. As Riot grows, culture will be the only thing that is possible to shape at scale.
    - Be more lax when it comes to transgressions by Rioters against other Rioters. We're all human, after all, and as a Rioter, we tend to grow with the "humbitious" culture that we jumped on for.
    - Take your mottos (Engineering & Riot Manifesto) seriously, and make sure that the decisions you make moving forward follow those core tenets, regardless of your moral compass.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    THE place to be if you're the right culture fit

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Intern - Software Engineer Intern in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Intern - Software Engineer Intern in Santa Monica, CA

    I have been working at Riot Games as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    - Riot provided housing that was right next to the office (five minute walk).
    - Weekly lunches with important people from all across the company; got to meet people like the LCS casters, executive sound producers, directors of engineering, project managers, etc.
    - Worked on important project(s); treated like full time (gave presentations in front of the whole company, had 100% say in any type of planning meetings, got whatever benefits full time Rioters got)
    - Met amazing people; everyone is willing to help if you just ask
    - Work life balance is encouraged; they didn't want me to be stressed out so they made sure I played games and took breaks
    - Lots and lots of swag

    Cons

    The internship program is not structured very well in terms of managing interns. According to most of the interns, Riot was very slow at getting back to them about how the interview process is going (and even later giving out the job offers). Some interns even talked about how their manager didn't know what to do with them. Most of the events were pretty good, but other companies do it better. There needs to be a dedicated team that focuses on hiring interns, ensuring everyone has something to do, and setting up intern events.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Should encourage interns (and even full times) to shadow other Rioters across the company to get a better idea of how other people work.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for Riot Games

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