Riot Games

  www.riotgames.com
  www.riotgames.com
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Riot Games Reviews

Updated September 24, 2014
Updated September 24, 2014
166 Reviews
4.6
166 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Riot Games CEO Brandon Beck
Brandon Beck
148 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Everything the company does is to give the League of Legends players the best experience (in 21 reviews)

  • If you have a pet project that can add to the player experience, you'll be supported all the way (in 14 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life balance is something that is unique to each individual so I can only judge based on my own experience (in 28 reviews)

  • The cost of living in Santa Monica / West LA is ludicrous (in 15 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Awesome

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

    I have been working at Riot Games as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    The culture here is Fantastic, awesome group of Rioters to work with and for. The work/life is great for work and family they take in consideration of your SO(sufficient other). Pto is satisfying if you need to take time off no problem.

    Cons

    One of my challenges is trying to become a Red badge which is full time, right now i'm Blue badge(Contractor). The leadership is good could be better,

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think Management should be mindful of the Contractors before bringing in outside New hires, because we have already proved ourselves that we can do the job as opposed to someone coming in and have to prove themselves.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Incredible workplace with its downsides

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Tools and Automation Software  in  Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Tools and Automation Software in Santa Monica, CA

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

    Pros

    Perhaps the most exhilarating thing you will experience working here is the company culture. Heavily focused on maintaining the company culture, Riot Games makes sure that you'll be working with people passionate about gaming. Once immersed in the company culture you really have nothing to complain about. It feels like essentially a company of sociable nerds and more often than not you'll meet people that become your best friends. The work force is young and innovative.

    Cons

    Riot Games is growing incredibly fast, however, they still operate like a startup company. This comes with benefits but also great drawbacks that more often than not makes teams step on each other's feet. Riot Games does not know how to maintain their company culture and provide an efficient company structure when they're growing so fast.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    A growing company with a startup mentality -- for better or worse

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

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

    Pros

    Easily, the best part of working at Riot is the fact that everyone has at least one thing in common: League of Legends. The amount of passion that exudes from this workplace is astounding, and when you consider that it is all centered around making the best player experience it becomes a really powerful motivator to get out of bed in the morning. The company hires the best talent and everyone at Riot is smart and has your back. It's a flat structure where you'll sit in an open area with your entire team leading to an amazingly collaborative workplace. The perks are great, too. Riot cares about its employees and it shows in the love the employees give back to the company.

    Cons

    Riot clings to the startup mentality that worked well when it had dozens of employees, but now that it has around 1500 the company needs to reevaluate how it runs internally. Beer at company wide events? Great. Relying on bro deals and quid-pro-quo rather than official channels to streamline a process? That's a problem. This could be merely growing pains of a company that still thinks of itself as a small operation but as the company matures these are issues that need to be addressed. Additionally, the startup mentality combined with the flat structure sometimes leads to extreme levels of ambiguity. Riot is blazing new territory in the videogame industry and ambiguity is expected there, but ambiguity due to negligence is not acceptable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't change the culture, but don't be afraid of embracing process to make the company operate more efficiently. The problems that the community has with League are almost all easily traced back to problems within the company culture. After having been a long time player, the transition to an insider made a lot of the problems make sense. It's easy to get swept up in things after being on the inside for too long but always remember to look at it from the players' perspective.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Interned at Riot Games over the summer, had a fantastic experience.

    • 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 as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    As an intern I was treated very respectfully. I was given actual responsibilities, meaningful work and I felt like I was able to make an impact. I was given ample tools and opportunities to stand out and prove myself. The passion you feel from Rioters in the workplace is palpable, and everyone seems to genuinely enjoy what they are doing. The focus on culture, treating employees as people, as well as the vast number decisions made with the player in mind first really makes this company stand out from other AAA studios as genuine.

    Cons

    Rent in Santa Monica is quite expensive. Company structure is very flat, so people used to strict, bureaucratic type companies will likely feel out of place.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work, but also be quicker to jump on and address inter-team communication issues that can lead to delays and frustration.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Inexperienced Management and Hive Mind Atmosphere

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Riot Games full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    -Popular IP with great opportunity to expand
    -Quality of life perks: free lunches on Tuesdays, dinner stipends, unlimited PTO (though you may never feel able to use it)
    -Amazing art teams and some highly creative individuals
    -Annual company retreats (although some employees have to stay behind)
    -Diverse group of people

    Cons

    -Too many first time managers with no clue how to manage others
    -Touts open feedback culture, but management does not take feedback well
    -Does not care about employees
    -Hiring process is too slow and potential new employees are not treated with respect
    -Frat-like atmosphere in certain departments
    -Terrible work/life balance
    -Not a lot of transparency

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more careful about who you allow to manage others. Bring in outsiders that have proven track records at other companies instead of gambling on unknowns. Ship a new game.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Fast paced, unstructured, and potentially chaotic

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern  in  Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Intern in Los Angeles, CA

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

    Pros

    -Echoing a frequently mentioned point: young, lively culture that truly cares about the product and goes to extraordinary lengths to serve the game and its players
    -Abundant opportunity for autonomy and self-direction; this is a great pro with the right mentor, but could be a huge con given the difficulty of doing this effectively without strong guidance/advocates

    Cons

    -Unstructured environment could lead to chaos and confusion; while senior leadership is strong across the board, the mid-layer is less experienced, which results in big day-to-day pain for new team members
    -Communication could be improved; teams are frequently out of sync and time/resources could be utilized better with foresight and planning

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8. 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 Employee - Software Engineer Intern  in  Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer Intern in Santa Monica, CA

    I have been working at Riot Games as an intern for 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
  9. 13 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 for 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
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Empowering intern program

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

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

    Pros

    Amazing intern program: We have weekly lunches with senior leadership, weekly outings (Hollywood Bowl, movies, dinners), hackathons, tons of free swag, and presentations to the whole company. The intern team dedicates so much time and energy into making sure we love our time at Riot - and it shows!

    Great mentors: My direct manager proactively dedicates so much time and energy into ensuring I'm working on projects I love. Everyone I worked with has placed great trust in me and allowed me to try new things, make mistakes, and grow so much. Having the "intern" title also allows me to easily set up lunches, coffee break with anyone in the company -- even senior leadership. The entire company seems invested in empowering interns!

    Office culture: It's too friendly and fun... I don't know how to return back to college and I can never work at another "serious" company again...

    Cons

    Riot's fifth manifesto point is "Stay hungry, stay humble" - but there is a loud minority of Rioters who do not live this strongly or at all (through arrogance about their own skills / knowledge or about Riot's success). This was more apparent in the small intern group (potentially some screening issues?) more so than full-time Rioters. Even though it's only a few people, it's worrying for such a young company, and one with only one game, to have members who are so complacent and arrogant.

    Compensation compared to other high-tech companies (Google, Microsoft, etc.) is lacking, but the overall package and convenience (e.g. housing covered, dinners subsidized) helps make up for it.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 3 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 Employee - Software Engineer  in  Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Santa Monica, CA

    I worked at Riot Games as an intern for 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

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