Riot Games

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Riot Games Reviews

Updated Jul 18, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.3 137 reviews

93% Approve of the CEO

Riot Games CEO Brandon Beck

Brandon Beck

(121 ratings)

88% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Everything the company does is to give the League of Legends players the best experience(in 17 reviews)

  • Riot lives the mission of trying to be the most player focused game company in the world(in 12 reviews)


Cons
  • Difficult work/life balance for some people(in 22 reviews)

  • The cost of living in Santa Monica / West LA is ludicrous(in 13 reviews)

137 Employee Reviews
in
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    2 people found this helpful  

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

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Santa Monica, CA

    ProsI 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.

    ConsNegative: *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 Senior ManagementAdvice 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.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Empowering culture that provides opportunities for talent to take control of their career

    Talent Programs Specialist (Current Employee) Santa Monica, CA

    ProsRiot Games believes in the talent that they let through their door by empowering them to pursue what they are passionate about. They encourage you to find a project that aligns with your career aspirations and adds value to our players. While I've heard this at previous points in my career, I have never worked at a company that truly put this into practice. They trust that every Rioter is highly competent and capable and allow them the freedom to take on short term productivity losses for long term development gains.

    ConsWhile embracing this entrepreneurial culture was energizing for myself, I can empathize with personalities who do not like having to find their own opportunities. Riot is a very unique place to work and it requires a person to be very self-aware of whether or not they are truly happy working in an environment like this. Riot does recognize this and provides candidates and new Rioters an opportunity to get a taste of the culture and see if it is a fit for them. The difficulty lies in whether or not an individual can make an accurate evaluation in a timely fashion without being distracted by the fun, exciting, and playful nature that is working at Riot.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    A place to be proud of

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Santa Monica, CA

    ProsWorking at Riot has been one of the best decisions I ever made.

    I'm consistently challenged but don't feel overwhelmed.

    I look forward to coming to work and being around talented, passionate people.

    Great gaming hardware.

    Video game (play) fund.

    Benefits.

    Personal & professional development.

    People care.

    Being surrounded by gamers means I can completely be myself.

    ConsThings can be slow to move, often times Rioters will take on too much work resulting in slow deliveries.

    The office (for now) is spread apart enough that you are consistently late to meetings due to transit.

    Internal comm/information centers feel frankensteined and ad hoc, often times you have to go to multiple internal locations to get information you need. Most likely resulting in you asking the person next to you for the answer.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep hiring gamers! It's in our DNA and what makes this place amazing.

    Keep caring! It's contagious at every level and it's what makes this place feel genuine.

    Be transparent about work/life balance and what our opinion/perspective is.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
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    fun place to work - run by gamers for gamers

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Prosmultitude of great benefits
    freedom to work
    freedom of time
    flexible hours/days/holidays

    Cons- can be chaotic at time
    - westside location very family unfriendly (especially on a budget)

    Advice to Senior Managementyou are doing great

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    I would be the first to admit that I've drunk the kool-aid, but it tastes delicious.

    Creative Services (Current Employee) Sydney (Australia)

    ProsYou know that feeling you get when you first start a new job? The excitement mixed with moments of cringe-worthy awkwardness? It usually lasts a couple of months – sometimes as long as six months – but eventually the new-car smell fades and you get nice and comfy in your new job.

    That doesn't happen at Riot. I've been here for a whisker short of a year and it never slows down.
    I would be the first to admit that I've drunk the kool-aid, but it tastes delicious.

    For me personally, working at Riot is my dream job. I have always been a gamer and to work for a company I admire has been amazing.

    That said; you should really be sure Riot is the place for you by researching the culture as much as you can. It's laid back but all about high-performance. You'll be asked to live outside of your comfort zone and have no one pushing you to do well, rather you will be given the trust to want to excel. If you wait for someone to tell you to do something around here then you are doing it wrong.

    The Oceania branch of Riot is also a little different to the rest of the world. We're a smaller team and looking to grow, so while you have access to all the resources of the mother-ship in North America, there are countless situations where you'll be wearing lots of different hats and improvising to get things done.
    It's very startup-esque here.

    We are always trying to get things done without the benefit of big sprawling teams. Personally I love that, as it makes us able to be flexible and we can make things happen, but that kind of environment isn't everyone's cup of tea.

    The perks are also pretty crazy, but if that's the reason you're coming on board then I would do some soul-searching first. The writing on the wall about trying to become the most player-focused company around isn't just a slogan – we live it. The culture here is much like a sporting team, everyone is mates with one another, but it's also about putting the runs on the board.

    As an example, this is the first place I have ever worked where there are so many high performers in the room that it can be a struggle just to keep up. This should excite you into wanting to level up and be a part of that. I have learnt more working at Riot in less than a year than I did in 3 years at my previous role. This place teaches you so much about yourself and challenges you to improve and to want to grow.

    The food is good too.

    ConsI think the biggest piece of advice I can say about Riot OCE is that you aren't signing up for a 9-to-5. There are calls for volunteers to run things like eSports programs on weekends and it's frowned upon to not step up. That said; if you have a child you will never miss a school play/sporting event/etc.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRiot is pretty big on having an open feedback culture. If I had advice to give to senior management that I hadn't already given, something would be seriously up.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    A high energy place to grow

    Product Manager (Current Employee) Santa Monica, CA

    ProsFlat organization allows for significant initiative
    Gamer/nerd/geek culture creates a lighthearted atmosphere
    Make a significant impact to MILLIONS of players every patch!

    ConsStill a maturing company so many processes are in need of development
    Flat organization also means lots of uncertainty in execution

    Advice to Senior ManagementCreate more "themes" for the company as a whole to bind teams together
    Be more conscious of process

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    2 people found this helpful  

    I look forward to work every day.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Santa Monica, CA

    ProsYou have the ability to work with any team or plug in to the company in teams outside your discipline. Nothing impedes your success but you. You get to interact with the players and community from the start and know you are making a positive impact. Work is full of the good feels everyday. We truly live our manifesto. Riot's corporate integrity is beyond admirable.

    ConsThe business side, like accounts payable, legal and purchasing operate in a black box and provides no visibility. If you have to work with external vendors their teams are not clear with the process or helpful and you have to apologize to vendors all the time with little to no power to make things better.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDo not hire non-culture fits just to fill the position with someone who can do the job - it does more long term harm than good for everyone.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Tough but very fair

    QA Leadership (Current Employee) Santa Monica, CA

    ProsFreedom to work on numerous projects. Significant autonomy. Flexible hours. Excellent facilities. Pushed to grow both professionally and personally. Great compensation. Really great benefits packages!
    The leadership here is amazing, if you understand what they are trying to do. This isn't a corporate atmosphere, and it shows in everything we do.

    ConsDifficult work/life balance for some people. Santa Monica is quite expensive. Some people may find it difficult to maintain their drive in the face of continuous development. Many date driven events lead to stressful releases. fairly outspoken fans can be difficult to deal with.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSome management are a bit difficult to approach due to their somewhat 'alpha' personalities. They are great at their jobs, but having to talk to them can be a bit of a stressful moment.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Today is my 3 year anniversary in Riot and I'm still in love with the company as it was the first day... probably more!

    Country Manager (Current Employee) Sydney (Australia)

    Pros- Culture & Values: is a company run by gamers and we base every decision thinking "what I would want from a company in this case?"
    - Passion: again, being gamers is almost everybody's dream to work for a gaming company. But also everyone is passionate about their area of expertise.
    - Empowerment: you are encouraged to do what you think is good for the players. No long approval process, no useless discussion... No HQ vs local office... we are raw in the same direction.
    - Learning & Development: you don't get to where Riot is today without great people. Every day I learn something new from them!
    - Working on the best game in the world: this is probably bias because I've been playing / loving LOL since Season 1 but helping Riot making LOL even better is a honour for me.
    - Opportunities: I started in the EU office and for personal reason I couldn't work there any more and I was offered the opportunity to work in the Australian office.
    - Perks: Don't want to list them all but some of the cool one are: game allowance, breakfast and lunches, flexible hours and very competitive salaries.

    ConsNothing I can think of, as said, I feel like I'm still in my honeymoon phase.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up with the good work!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    This is the greatest place I have ever worked.

    Associate Sound Designer (Current Employee) Santa Monica, CA

    ProsOpen PTO, Riot Play Fund, great work space, amazing work space, fantastic people, ... the list goes on and on. It's also located in Santa Monica, which is one of my favorite places.

    ConsOnly thing I could say is that it takes a long time to get things done here. You've gotta push hard to get the simplest things going.

    Advice to Senior ManagementOrientation is a little long if you ask me. Most people want to get started, and the 6 day orientation could have been condensed to 3 days. That's really all I got though. For the most part they are doing a great job.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Riot Games Program Manager responded to this review

    Jun 27, 2014

    Hi,

    Thanks for the feedback. I'm with the team responsible for making sure that orientation (aka denewbification) is an excellent experience for every new Rioter. As a team, we'll huddle on your
    ... More

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