Riot Games

  www.riotgames.com
  www.riotgames.com
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

Riot Games Reviews

Updated August 30, 2014
Updated August 30, 2014
160 Reviews
4.7
160 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

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)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 9 people found this helpful  

    A people mill that will leave you sad

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

    I have been working at Riot Games full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    When you start at Riot you'll be in a large batch of new hires and undergo indoctrination and testing (Denewbification) for over a week. Prepare "a vulnerability" to share with the group, watch the parade of people, and watch what you say. Enjoy the pampering, because once you remove your Teemo hat, you get to meet the people that really work at Riot.

    Cons

    You will learn what's missing from their Cultural Statement, and you will see the true company values by who is retained. You will also understand why you started with a large group, and why there is a new large group every 2 weeks.

    Eventually you won't see people from your "class", and you'll notice more tenured colleagues missing. One day you'll be asked to walk with your boss, straight into a conference room where for the first time, you won't hear the hip bro-talk.

    Finally, you're escorted to the street with your box of personal effects they packed while you were attending your final Riot meeting.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management doesn't take advice, or feedback.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Riot Games Response

    Jul 23, 2014Director of Communications

    Hi,

    Thanks for sharing your candid thoughts -- we really mean that. As hard as it is for us to hear some of this, it's important that we stay in touch with the ways that we need to get better
    ... More

  2. 26 people found this helpful  

    Ugly, Two-Faced and Disingenuous

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

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

    Pros

    Very few. An ostensibly friendly and relaxed atmosphere hides one of the most callous and dehumanizing corporate cultures I've ever seen. If you love League of Legends to the point where you want it to be your whole life -- to the exclusion of friends, family and anything else -- you might to okay. Otherwise, they're not looking for you... and they won't tell you that until after you're deeply entrenched in their structure

    Cons

    I'm going to break down some of the claims by the five-star reviewers here, which run completely counter to my experiences. I'm not saying they're disingenuous, but I would suggest that -- if such reviews are truly legitimate -- that they take a little more time to address the complaints registered by the negative reviews.

    * Work/life balance. Nonexistent. They have couches for sleeping, free meals when you stay late and everything you could possibly need in the office. The better to ensure that you never *leave* the office. If you do -- if you have a spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend at home say -- you're given subtle hints about "needing to do better" before being unceremoniously dropped. Expect to work brutal hours and when they do arrange of outside activities -- a free movie screening for example -- it will be preceded by barely disguised agit-prop about how awesome Riot is.
    As a side-effect of that, the ageism at this company is shocking. I'm in my twenties, so I didn't feel it much, but I saw experienced, talented and hard working industry veterans get crapped all over by the company's young Turks who thought that a hit game meant that they knew best. If you're over thirty -- and God forbid you have a family -- then you're just not cool enough for Riot. And no, they don't care how many awards you've won or what insight you might have from your years of experience. You're bringing the party down, bro!

    * Transparency. Nonexistent. Managers actively lie, both to you and those around them. If the upper-ups think you're awesome, then everything you touch turns to gold... and when the awesome people screw up, there are plenty of underlings to cheerfully blame and unceremoniously show the door. I make it a point of pride to meet my deadlines. When I did, they sat in my manager's inbox for weeks. Then when I was let go, I was told that I "couldn't be relied upon" to meet my deadlines. When I pointed out that my manager failed to so much as look at all the work I left for him on time, I was told that it was my problem, not his. And then thrown out onto the street like a hobo. I saw similar acts taking place fairly regularly while I was still working there. (Someone posted earlier about the PR wing being labeled the Ministry of Culture and Propaganda. It's not a lie. That's what they call it and that's how they treat it. Again, I don't know if all these five-star reviews are legitimate or gussied-up puff pieces, but I strongly suspect the latter.)

    * Supportive atmosphere. No "coaching." No "encouragement." No "plan." You're left with nebulous goals, ill-defined parameters for success an a passel of alpha dogs happy to take credit for your work if you let them. If you stumble, you get dropped like a hot rock. If you excel, they expect you to do it again. And again and again with no encouragement or hope of advancement. When I was let go, they told me that my work wasn't up to snuff. I pointed out a very recent project I had completed that my manager praised as a game changer. That same manager looked me dead in the eye and said -- literally -- "That was two weeks ago. What have you done for us lately?" So much for a supportive atmosphere. And again, this was not limited to my personal experience. It seemed to be par for the course at the office.

    * Self-starters. This is a euphemism for "the cool kids." If you aren't a "cool kid," you're not a self-starter. And therefore disposable. Hard workers who quietly go about their jobs are not welcome here. They want rock stars. And when you build a company full of 3,000 rock stars, you're setting yourself up for a colossal fall.

    * Sexism. There's grounds for a lawsuit here if they're not careful. Women beware: "frat house" is a kindness, and the people in charge seem to actively encourage it.

    * Maturity. I've been to daycare centers with more adult sensibilities than the shambling, chaotic mess that passes for an office atmosphere. On the plus side, they give you plenty of examples to help you better define the term "arrogant man-child."

    * A future. League of Legends? "The most awesome game in the world!" Anything besides LoL? "Um... well... yeah, we've got those coming. Soon. Really. But we can't talk about it because... you know..."

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You're on top of the world with a hit game. You've used that to create a poisonous atmosphere of toadies, bullies and overgrown frat boys. As long as the cash keeps coming in, you can keep the party going nonstop. If your fan base ever finds something besides LoL to spend their time on, you're going to crash and burn like the Hindenberg. You can acknowledge that fact and make some wholesale changes to your internal culture to build a company worth such a successful product. Or you can keep papering over the problems with phony stories about how awesome you are, and keep high-fiving your bros until you plunge straight off the cliff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 18 people found this helpful  

    Successful Service, Poor Product Development

    • 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

    League of Legends is in an addictive genre, and Riot leverages this by focusing intensely on player service. The mantra of Player Focus is for real. Riot's senior management really cares about core gamers. Energetic young employees who love League of Legends can do very well in a short period of time.

    Cons

    Riot has zero leadership accountability once you have tenure, and instead fires new or low-level employees when they don't meet an ambiguous "bar" or when they don't fit in socially with people there from the early days.

    Almost every time someone is fired, they have no idea their job is in danger. Riot claims to be an open feedback culture, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Rather than see this as a problem, Riot generally blames the fired employee saying they weren't "self aware."

    While service of LoL is strong, new product and feature development is a mess, and lately Riot has started throwing a lot of money at industry veterans to try and clean it up. Some do well, others flame out in Riot's unstructured environment.

    On the one hand Riot needs experienced professionals, on the other hand it has a culture of disrespect toward established game companies and methodologies. Riot can be a career killer for experienced industry vets who cannot adapt to Riot's chaotic and social way of operating.

    Riot's immature and sexist "bro" culture is the most extreme I've ever seen, and if you are female I don't recommend working there unless you have a very thick skin. Top management are the worst offenders.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hold top leadership accountable for failures in product development, and adopt more mature policies around product development and corporate behavior.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  4. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5. 14 people found this helpful  

    Love the cult or leave!

    • 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 less than a year

    Pros

    Location in Santa Monica, vicinity to nice lunch spots, hype about the co. that turned out to be yes, just hype, and those who recruited me look like liars

    Cons

    Cultural fit seems to be more important than skills or experience. They outright threaten you that you will better adjust or otherwise be shown the door before you know it. Crazy as they really have no idea who they are or what their culture is. No leadership, immaturity, arrogance, and the strangest approach to culture which only leaves new employees like me in fear. Growing pains and inability to keep talent at this point as they do not know how to allow employees to be themselves and there is no understanding of work-life balance. Love this cult or leave! I hear some also complain about bullying practices by management and experienced it first-hand. Worst company ever and it makes me wonder who is writing the positive reviews? The current recruiting team!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat your people well and know that only that is a culture that is sustainable. Everyone is going to get tired of being treated like a child and yes, I said, sick of playing your game. It is good people that make a good company and not just a product. So get off your horse if you want to stay in business.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 26 people found this helpful  

    A polished display of smoke and mirrors which conceals some deeply concerning bullying, cliques and cult like behavior.

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

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

    Pros

    Nice offices at Riot, they look after staff in a financial sense; as in you get food and free tickets and goodies. Riot drives its perks directly towards fulfilling its goal to keep Rioters in the office as much and as long as possible.

    I read another review, one of the real ones; where someone said it perfectly: I'll quote them, because I cannot possibly rephrase it more eloquently than when they said:

    "There are some nice people at Riot, some of whom will kindly show you the door if you're not a good culture fit."

    Cons

    There's quite a few:
    For example, given that the most senior leadership tout how open an office environment and how flat a structure Riot Games has, they sure spend a vast amount of time in their dedicated conference rooms (read huge offices) behind their usual desks. I can't really speak for what it's like in there with them, because I was never one of the chosen few cliquey people who surround them.

    Hypocracy is rife, lies are more so. It's hugely corporate while claiming that it is quite the opposite. It claims transparency while having corporate communications locking down any negativity which could get into the public eye. I've seen the mails where senior staff/leadership are "Strongly encouraged to get those who will speak positively of the company." to post reviews, particularly if negative reviews have been posted so as to discredit them.

    Assuming you are cool enough with the bro-fisting elitism, vicious cliques and frathouse-like environment, you will also most likely be able to ingratiate yourself with those in the leadership and find a way into one of the bizarre 'circles of trust' which many of the leaders here appear to hold dear. Failure is not tolerated in any manner, unless you're favored - in which case you're all good, man.

    Don't expect clear targets/goals or expectations from your manager, that's not cool enough for Rioters, this means you have to hope you're in that circle of trust and use your divining rod to work out if you're on track, but if you're not - Riot is proud of moving people on, so don't expect to have an opportunity to address your issues. Communication from Managers, some more than others is exceptionally limited, so that's another consideration. Reviews, guidance, coaching...mentoring....yeah, no. Not going to happen.

    Expect to be brain-washed, you'll get more random Riot merchandise than you can shake anyone's stick at. Which is great if you like that kind of thing. You'll probably be marked down as a non-believer though if you're not seen wearing that Riot gear regularly, or not playing League of Legends as though it was the air you breathe, or working 60+ hour weeks...I'll save you the rest of the list. It's long...

    If you're a drooling frothy fanatic for all things League of Legends who sleeps with a Teemo doll at night and wakes every morning to your Lulu toothbrush and re-runs of LoL E-Sports, you will probably enjoy the cult that is Riot Games regardless of all of the above. If not, it all depends on your tolerance for poison.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Open your eyes to the many 'trusted' people around you and ask if they are actually doing the right thing. Realize you are setting an example to the leaders who follow you when you exhibit astonishing favoritism and unprofessional behavior. Don't be so proud of who you get rid of, because many of those decisions were wrong. You've also retained some of the bad guys.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 26 people found this helpful  

    One of Us

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

    I worked at Riot Games as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Getting dressed for work was never easier, thanks to the Riot t-shirts and fashionable outerwear. You can easily spot other Riot employees on their morning commute by car, bus, or inflated ego. Don't forget to wear your Riot gear, your coworkers are taking notes.

    Once at work, you can enjoy free fruit and cereal. Throughout the day you will find leftovers from meetings, and you'll learn the names of the Humble Hungry. Stay hungry, Riot. Look for the "secret kitchen" (by the main lobby). That's where most food winds up.
    You get a $10 daily meal credit for dinner via Seamless, but only if you stay late (meaning later than 7 PM), and if you value your job, you WILL stay late.

    If staying late at work means playing League of Legends while a "significant other" (Riot's PC term for wife/husband/partner) waits for you, then you'll go far. It's that work/life balance thing. If you need to leave because it's 8 PM and you just pulled another 11 hour shift, you better stick around and play for an hour if you want to keep your job. Some will stand up and declare you as Not a Team Player.

    Dylan was the best CFO ever! A very trusting and giving person. Come in around whenever. Leave whenever. Stay as long as you like and play League of Legends and charge the overtime. You can mod your Nerf Pyragon blaster at 11:30 PM in the candy room, even though your shift ended at 7 PM, and still charge overtime.

    The candy room. A magical place to just chill and eat candy and talk loudly. A place to listen to bad music and shoot Nerf guns. Nobody works in the candy room or needs to concentrate. If someone appears to be working, crowd around them and talk loudly. BroPoints for flatulence.

    A place for unique people to be just like everyone else and quirky and different. There are some nice people at Riot, some of whom will kindly show you the door if you're not a good culture fit.

    Cons

    In short, a cult of hypocrites and liars. The most corporate anti-corporate corporation I've ever worked for. I learned that when a corporation focuses heavily on its public image, you will be judged mercilessly.

    So, you made it through the amateurish interview process?

    When you start at Riot you attend brainwashing day-camp for a few days. They're constantly revamping the Denewbification process. They make you feel so good about yourself! How did you get so lucky?? The shirts and mugs they give you are accolades for being so awesome! No really, they tell you this. "We only hire the best/type A/good looking"... see how PeopleOps' attitude changes towards you after a few weeks. The puppy loses its cuteness, but there's a fresh crop of new hires starting every two weeks.

    You will not succeed at Riot if you don't develop a dozen insincere friendships.

    Most employees are on divorce/break-up watch. Wanting to go home after a 10 hour shift earns you the Not a Team Player title. Riot goes on about work/life balance, but they don't tell you what they consider acceptable. Good luck starting your relationship or family. You belong to Riot now.

    People on top of people crammed around people. How many people can you squeeze into one place? Riot is trying to find out. It seemed like more people don't practice good hygiene at Riot than a modern corporation should allow.

    No review cycle. No clear career path. No guidance from management or senior coworkers. Riot goes on about how important feedback is, but you don't see it. You are promised three things: a Buddy, a Mentor, and Feedback. Good luck even getting one of those things. Feedback is so important to Riot, but you're not.

    Bad communication between departments. Unrealistic goals and poor team collaboration. Daily group stand-ups would ultimately devolve into shouting matches if the boss wasn't there. A mostly male company with alpha-male issues. We had two directors with the same title because one was never there. This led to lots of goofing around, which led to people having to stay until 11 PM, 12 AM, sometimes 1 or 2 AM. There would be email waiting the next morning sent at 3 AM.

    Too many emotionally immature people under one roof. Some are deep in the spectrum, most are in a position to decide your career fate. People who need cookies just for showing up to work. Everyone who got a trophy just for playing grew older and joined Riot. These are the spoiled "I am special" young adults you've probably only read about. I can confirm that they are special.

    Humbition is a word Riot likes to use without following its meaning. It's a cute word that is fun to pronounce and that's all they care to know. False humility abounds, and it beds with idolatry.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Respect people's work/life balance. Significant Other is an offensive term to a spouse.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 19 people found this helpful  

    It was Great... Until It Wasn't

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

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

    Pros

    Esprit de corps is high, with lots of enthusiastic and hard-working co-workers. The employees are creative and intelligent, and the overall atmosphere is very pleasant... at least on the surface.

    The gaming industry's notorious sexism didn't seem to be in effect; female employees were treated with respect and appeared to have ample opportunity for advancement.

    Cons

    * Bait and switch employment. When I was first hired, I received a lengthy song and dance about how Riot was different than other game companies. They claimed they respected work-life balance and that, while crunch times did happen, normal employment hours averaged 40-50 hours a week. This was a flat-out lie; 80-100 hour weeks were expected. Long work hours are forgivable; deceiving people about them isn't.

    * Poor work-life balance. Along those lines, a number of the company's smaller "perks" disguise their desire to have you live, eat and breathe Riot all the time. They offer subsidized dinners when you work late (which is often), plan vacations and trips to the movies as part of company outings, and otherwise monopolize as much time as possible. If you're young, single and devoted to work, this can be a good fit. If you're in a relationship or like doing anything outside of the office, stay away.

    * Bad management. Management seems to have little idea about how to handle employees, and tactics shift almost day to day. What's expected of you on Monday may be 180 degrees different on Tuesday, then back to the beginning on Wednesday. Meetings take up a huge portion of the work day, with little or no practical impact coming out of them. Some people seem to spend all their time preparing PowerPoint presentations about what they do instead of getting down to the business of doing it. Resources are poorly spent, and an overall lack of leadership pervades. In many cases, managers were perfectly happy to lie about employees under them rather than take responsibility for mistakes they themselves had made.

    * Arrogance, bordering on narcissism. Riot encourages "go-getters" and "leaders," which often translates to people who put their own ambitions in front of the greater good. Internecine politicking is rampant, and employees are often tossed under the bus based on agendas that have nothing to do with the company's business or product. There's a lot of back-biting and factionalism... though less in the rank-and-file workers than in middle management and above. Riot tries to bill itself as "anti-corporate," but its overall culture is corporate in the extreme.
    Furthermore, a general egotism pervades among all levels of employment. The company seems to feel that a hit game gives them license to treat others with contempt or dismissal, which cuts them off from a lot of potentially beneficial people and ideas. A general fraternity atmosphere occasionally turns into the actively cruel. For instance, a company party was held on St. Patrick's Day 2012, featuring little people dressed up as leprechauns. The "performers" hid their faces behind ski masks that clearly weren't a part of their costumes, to save them embarrassment and humiliation. It made for an awkward and unpleasant event, compounded by senior management's seeming obliviousness to the issue.

    *Lack of product diversity. Everyone there loves League of Legends, and obviously the game is doing quite well. But there were no signs of trying to diversify beyond that core product, or do more than expand it as far as it can go. They'll be fine as long as sales remain high, but should the market change, this company doesn't appear to have a contingency plan in place.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let your employees know what's expended of them and stand by those expectations. Foster an atmosphere of clarity and transparency, and punish those who pursue their own agendas at the expense of the company's. Work harder to balance the "fun" nature of the product with a more adult business sensibilities, and get past surface impressions to understand the true nature of the company culture you're creating.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 13 people found this helpful  

    This company ruined my life

    • 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

    A lot of amazing people work here

    Cons

    Corruption everywhere. People being put into high level positions they don't deserve. No trust, people are quick to throw you under the bus to get ahead. Worst part - slander to future employers.

    They also like doing all these cutesy things like bringing in food and treats..to try and have you forget that you just worked 70+ hours in a week.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 26 people found this helpful  

    Overworked and underpaid

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Riot Games

    Pros

    Free food and occasional swag.
    Smart people
    Nice offices

    Cons

    I live with other rioters, we talked about recent reviews posted and it inspired me to post.
    No reviews/pay increases
    Benefits are poor
    Most senior Managment likes to talk but not listen
    Pay is just bad
    Riot expects fanatic fanboy loyalty but doesnt do anything to earn it.
    No work life balance
    There is a have and have not culture here. Agree with the comment about the chosen few linked with Leadership.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not everyone likes what you do. Think about others. Pay us fairly for our work.

    Doesn't Recommend
  11. 23 people found this helpful  

    A siren song hides rocks ahead

    • 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 a year

    Pros

    Flexible schedule
    The hours are flexible, which is awesome. No one is actively babysitting you (unlike much of the corporate world these days). Feel free to shuffle your hours around as long as you make all of your (MANY) meetings, which in practice puts a damper on that flexibility. Better stay a couple hours late, so you have time to actually do the work we talked about in all those meetings.

    Your work can touch a massive audience
    That is, if it's in the 5-10% of things we do that actually see the light of day. Most projects are a complete mess and get rebooted constantly. It's demoralizing when players complain about needing feature or product X that we've been working on for years, but will probably never ship due to internal politics. Some Riot time might look good on a resume because of our reach, but don't plan on Riot being good for your portfolio, or your confidence.

    Play League of Legends at work
    You should, because you'll need some kind of stress relief from the insanity, if you can squeeze a game in between meetings. Again, super cool benefit but kind of hampered by the reality of Riot life. The other double-edged sword is that people get really loud when they play. If your work schedule doesn't match up to your neighbors' prepare for constant distraction as they shout profanities at each other across the room.

    Lots of free food
    Remember the freshman 15? Try the Riot 20! This is how Riot shows it's love. Catered meetings and presentations, late night dinner subsidies, adult beverages at company wide events. It's really nice for the first few months. The numerous college-aged kids at Riot get excited about it a lot longer, but it's appeal can only last so long.

    Benefits
    This is one of the few areas where Riot shines. Primarily because it is easy to throw a chunk of money at the people team and there's not a lot of politics involved. If your SO doesn't have their own coverage, Riot will subsidize them as if they are an employee, which is a very nice gesture and is probably very useful to some Rioters. 401k match is decent too.

    Cons

    Ineffective leadership
    Titles don't matter, except when they do. What passes for autonomy here is a lot of theoretical talk about possible directions we can go among the masses at Riot, but the actual decisions are all still made in closed door meetings between product owners and top leaders. Once teams observe this effect, they tend to flail around trying to please the leadership. There's a real sense that no one at the top really understands which of our early decisions caused our success and which were the decisions we succeeded in spite of, so many of our leaders are afraid to make the kind of bold decisions we need to raise quality to where we want it. Painful conversations often just get kicked down the road, so we trudge on with the status quo. Many mid to upper level managers are inexperienced and/or insensitive, causing pockets of poor morale and patterns of avoidance.

    Our values often ring false
    One example: we use that word humbitious (ambitious but humble). Honestly, I think we are starting to fail at both. There's a lack of urgency in the decision making progress, because it feels like we automatically rake in a fortune no matter what we do, so why rock the boat? The humble part is fading too. There are a lot of alpha types that dominate conversations and leave little room for healthy debate. Nobody is really keeping these people in check, and they are found in many leadership positions.

    We're overly focused on hiring over internal promotion
    The discipline leaders are so focused on desperately hiring as fast as possible, that they aren't nurturing their existing teams properly. If you are currently being wooed by Riot recruiters, enjoy it. It's possibly the last time you will feel like Riot really cares about your growth. There is no clear path to promotion, and it's rare to hear about them. We recently started a regular performance review program, but the reviews don't appear to have any relationship to compensation or title.

    Stagnant compensation
    If you join up you'd better darn well negotiate like a boss, because you're getting stuck with that salary for the long haul. Riot is so obsessed with hiring, that it is ignoring the stagnant compensation of it's existing teams. This a growing powder keg that few are talking about except in frustrated whispers, because leadership has made it clear that we should just do our work out of a passion for our players. It seems the managers below them have interpreted that literally to mean no one should talk about money. Ever. Sure, passion is our primary motivation, but passion only stretches so far when you never get cost of living adjustments or bonuses to prop up dead wages and the office is located in Santa Monica, one of the most expensive areas to live in So. Cal. Mixed messages.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Less is more
    We need to focus our resources on doing fewer things better. A healthy network of communication doesn't happen overnight, so if we just scale blindly, we will have lots of people, but they will waste their talents because our efforts are all over the place.

    Take care of Rioters, not just candidates
    It's getting harder and harder to justify the Riot lifestyle because of location and cost of living. I understand financial incentives will not get better work out of creative people, but it will help them to stay at Riot longer so you can get more out of them. Plus, the work force is aging and more people are starting families. Eventually, it will be clear that Riot is not a healthy place to stay for the long term while trying to provide for a family, and there will be a mass exodus of top talent. I worry that we're on the brink of this very soon if something doesn't happen to prevent it. Basic cost of living increases would be a good start.

    Open door policy is not enough
    You have to actively seek out the pain within the company and solve it. Many Rioters are afraid to tell you the truth because of the concern of retribution from discipline leaders or other managers.

    Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid
    We have a massive audience. No matter what we do, some players will rage against it. We need to have strong conviction in the face of temporary anger that we have done our homework and we are confident we will make things better for the majority of players. If we cater to the small percentage of players that flip out every time we change something, we will not make the changes we need to move ahead.

    We CAN fix this.
    There's so much amazing talent locked up in this organization, I know we have it in us to fix what's broken. Communication is the key. We just have to be more honest with ourselves about what is actually dysfunctional and give more Rioters a voice in company decisions. The constant Riot cheerleaders are drowning out the voices of concern within the company, which is super dangerous. We are critical because we want Riot to reach it's potential, and with a drive to pay more than lip service to our values, it absolutely can.

    Nothing would make me happier than coming back in a year and adding stars to my next review.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

Worked for Riot Games? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.