Riot Games

  www.riotgames.com
  www.riotgames.com

Riot Games Reviews

Updated November 18, 2014
Updated November 18, 2014
180 Reviews
4.5
180 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

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

  • People say there is a lack of work-life balance, but this must vary from team to team (in 8 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.  

    It was fun

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

    I worked at Riot Games full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    You get to play games at work! Great perks
    They have very high standards in engineering.

    Cons

    Too many producers and not clear direction. Just one successful game.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 8 people found this helpful  

    Enjoy the honeymoon...

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

    I have been working at Riot Games full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    TLDR:
    You are surrounded by very talented people, many of which really care about our players.
    The core values of the company are truly awesome.
    Flexible Time off is great, use it.
    The regional autonomy model can be very empowering.
    Great if you are a single guy in your 20s

    Breakdown:
    Riot can be one of the best places you ever work at. Make sure you quickly understand which core values the company is living versus ones they are aspiring to (A.k.a. they are very hit or miss on) and you won't be let down. If you are working on something of high value and focus viciously on it, you will succeed. If you succeed, promote it internally through Taste-the-Riot and Show &Tell and you will be given more opportunities to do so.

    There are many amazing opportunities to learn from the best talent in the industry and if you have a role which touches the game you will feel part of delivering a great game to a passionate player base which idolizes you for the most part. It can feel really great to see how much appreciation players have for your work all over the world. If you care about making players delighted, this is the right place for you.

    Some of the benefits are great. Use them as much as you can since they are a pretty big part of your compensation. Riot is very strategic with its perks, but if you are single and in your 20s you can really capitalize on a gig from Riot. Participate in all the social clubs, spend time at the office or with your office pals, learn Kickboxing, do Yoga, learn to swing dance, go our drinking, go to the gym, etc etc etc.

    Some departments and regional teams have true autonomy. If you are in one of these places, capitalize on this and leverage your creativity and talent to make incredible things happen. The budget is more of a guideline anyway so just make sure that enough player value is delivered and you are golden. If you are not in one of these places find a way to get in with one of the decision makers (your colleagues can tell you easily who those are). Be sure to also find out which groups require you to work unacceptable hours and just avoid them unless you are a masochist.

    Cons

    TLDR:
    Like with Amazon.com, if you want the truth, look over the negative reviews and filter for common sense
    Clear nepotism and favoritism at the highest levels of the org causes a lot of morale issues
    Barracks-like harassment and discriminatory language are the norm in some groups
    Snake pits are cleverly disguised as blueberry bushes, trust no one
    Relationships are way more important than intelligence / aptitude.
    If you are looking for feedback, coaching or mentor-ship beyond entry level, wrong place for you
    Compensation for some roles is abysmal for the cost of living in Santa Monica

    Breakdown:
    Riot solicits reviews from people frequently for this site. given that your first 3 months are a great period of glee and high-fives and that they are hiring like mad, not surprised by the positive skew. The honeymoon is great in many ways, however I would suggest looking over all the negatives, this is where you can get to the meat of what the issues are. Some may not bother you or affect you, in which case Riot is perfect!

    Whether the place tries to be a meritocracy or not, having a sibling run part of your company is going to cause issues, especially when he is abrasive and unable to show anyone else who is not on the Board any professional courtesy. To make matters worse you have rude and incompetent people being rewarded and allowed to fail repeatedly while other teams have to re-explain the reasoning behind projects over and over after a proven record of success. All this leads to spotty morale for people who are passed the aforementioned "honeymoon" stage.

    If you have sensitivity to bro-ish behavior, crude jokes about gender, ethnicity, age and trolly harassment you should avoid Riot. These are part of the culture in most of the teams except data science and art.

    The organization has many people who will smile to your face and then stab you in the back when it will bring them even a slight bit of advancement. This is not a problem if you are fiercely competitive and assume this going in, however if you are not a fan of this kind of environment it can be very disheartening, especially in a culture priding itself on transparency and feedback sharing as well as friendliness.

    Figure out who the key people are, build relationships with them and make them feel that you are indispensable for their success. This will pay you way more dividends than competence or aptitude. Granted, relationship management is a key part of succeeding at a job, the skew however for Riot is far more towards relationships and popularity with the right clique.

    Finally, if you are single and willing to room with others or if you are hired as a senior leadership you may be able to afford living in the area. Outside this make sure you are not captured by the glitz and glamour of the local entertainment or you will be in debt in no time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Nepotism is an issue people are afraid to bring to your attention. You should probably look into that.
    Racism, Sexism and Harassment are not solved via a 3 hour class. Ticking time bomb.
    Check up on our "Feedback Culture". Demand to see what communications have happened. Put checks and balances in place. When most of your departures are surprised at the news, it should give you some clues. "Self-awareness" is not a justification for lack of direct performance communication.
    For the love of god fix the central-local model.

    You should probably be more open about projects in the works with people internally. Siloed teams and having your badge not open certain doors can make your promises of transparency and trust sound pretty hollow.
    Bring in leadership which understands how a company of your current size is run. You started to do so which is encouraging. Consider which senior leaders are doing more harm than good. If you are honest with yourselves they should stick out fairly prominently.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Just a good experience

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

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

    Pros

    Environment, Vibe, People, Offices, A Challenge

    Cons

    Not much, but hard to find a decent priced house.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Riot Games is an amazing company; the culture is fantastic, the people are awesome, and you'll have a really fun time.

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

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

    Pros

    Feedback culture is one that is difficult to find anywhere else, people genuinely want to help you. Work is really interesting and every person believes in the company mission. I could go on and on but I think you get the idea - an incredible summer experience.

    Cons

    I honestly didn't see any cons to working here as an intern. My mentors and teammates were always open to helping me grow and find out what I wanted to do. The work-life balance is flexible and adaptable, everyone is really understanding.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep on going at it, never forget the values that have gotten you here - it will carry you guys a long way.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Great Place to Work

    • 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 (less than an year)

    Pros

    The culture-hype is real. Everyone I worked with at Riot was happy to help me when I needed to learn something, and eager to learn when I had something to teach. Even as a newcomer, they respected and valued my experiences, and wanted to help me grow.

    Cons

    The culture is not for everyone. Someone may not fit, and Riot will work with you and handle it well, but it is not a place everyone will enjoy working at.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 5 people found this helpful  

    Culture, culture, culture

    • 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

    Riot is a great place to work if you have effective time management skills, are able to self-direct well, and have that "entrepreneurial spirit" that a lot of tech companies look for. There is a lot of autonomy when it comes to your job, and if you like that, and are good at it, then you will succeed. Culture is key at Riot, and if you "fit in" with their mindset, you will have an amazing opportunity to impact the organization no matter what position you hold. Management is always willing to listen to your feedback and in fact, encourages you to speak-up when you feel something is going in the wrong direction, or needs improvement. This is not a place where you can do the minimum and just skirt by; this is a high-performance, demanding, but fun place to work. They do have really high expectations, and if you cannot fulfill those expectations, then you will not succeed there.

    Everyone thinks that they have what it takes to work in an environment like this, which in theory sounds amazing (who wouldn't want to have control over what they do every day?), but in practice is a lot more difficult than it sounds. Some people are more successful being told what to do every day (soldiers), while others want to be in charge (leaders). It really takes a leadership mindset to be successful at Riot imo. It's like a sports team, they look for "all-stars," and cut the ones that don't perform at that level. Passion (for your job, the company and the game), determination (no constraints), and a high-level of accountability are some of the key attributes they look for in Rioters.

    The benefits and perks are amazing; they say there is work-life balance, but I know many, including myself, who pulled 10-12 hours daily. Not that they have to, but because of the culture that compels them to do so. And that is great at first, because almost everyone around you is doing it, and you build great rapport with your coworkers. But that kind of work style is unsustainable in the long run, and eventually it leads to burnout.

    Important takeaway for those that want to work there: if you don't play the game (League of Legends), you best sign-up and start playing before even thinking about applying for a position. Drink the Riot kool-aide and magical things will happen.

    Cons

    I don't have too many negatives to say about Riot. My time there was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I learned more working there than in any of the positions I've held at any other organization in my 10+ years working as a professional. I work smarter, not harder now, and I owe a lot of that to what I learned from senior management and my coworkers.

    My only negative is the whole work-life balance issue. Working ridiculous hours is something that you impose on yourself though, no one makes you do it. So make sure you're working efficiently in the hours you do clock-in; having effective time-management skills will benefit you in the long run.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Mistakes are going to happen; don't be so hard on your reports when they occur. Help them learn and grow from their mistakes, instead of making them feel like they're going to lose their job if they make even the slightest error. This is not across the board with management, just a few key stakeholders.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Amazing Place to Work!

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

    I have been working at Riot Games full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Player Focused: Every decision and detail at Riot is made from the perspective of the player. Everyone at Riot is a huge gamer and loves core games which I love.

    - Houses the best talent in the games industry: So fortunate to be surrounded by peers from every discipline that are best in class. I'm constantly learning from everyone around me.

    - Constantly getting better: Everyone here wants to constantly improve - we know we could always be better at what we do so pushing ourselves and stretching for difficult to achieve goals makes this a motivating place to work.

    - Great long term career: Many of my peers have been at Riot for 5+ years and I feel like we're still just beginning and have a long way to go. We're only one game in and it's already awesome.

    Cons

    - Company is scaling quickly: Not necessarily a con, but you'll need to be adaptable and interested in learning and growing to be successful at Riot. Growing from 60 people to 1500 comes with a lot of challenges, so understanding your own strengths and weaknesses, and having career goals goes a long way to adapting to the company as it matures.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Focus on keeping the culture awesome as we scale! Riot makes amazing experiences for players and it's a great place to work - let's keep it that way as we grow.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Unique and dynamic work environment, inspiring peers, fun--but not without some downsides

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

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

    Pros

    I interned at Riot over the summer and currently am working part-time as well. So far I've really enjoyed my time here and met many inspiring and talented people. Its a very fast-growing company and there's certainly an atmosphere of enthusiasm here; a genuine love of the game and players is what drives Riot to succeed. Also so much free food!

    Cons

    Definitely some of the company's structure and communication between departments needs some work; as other reviews mentioned Riot does suffer some growing pains. Some sort of passive-aggressive animosity (much of it confusing as to how it originated) between departments does exist. Within my own internship I felt a bit of lack of direction sometimes.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Latin American Publishing Team Intern

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

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

    Pros

    Don't be fooled by the playful, laid-back gamer attitude. This is a very smart company. For those who like to be challenged and surrounded by intelligent, passionate people, this place is AWESOME. I often found my conversations to be more intellectually rich than a lot of the classroom discussions I've had during my time at Harvard. This is also a place where independence is valued-- I was not given a specific, detailed task when I arrived but was turned loose to solve a previously identified problem in whatever way I thought best. This sort of trust felt amazing and lead me to do excellent work.

    Cons

    The cons are pretty easy to guess-- when you get a lot of smart people together and tell them to be independent and assert themselves, you get a lot of voices speaking at once. Most employees want to chip in with their opinions, sometimes when it is not useful, and this can come across as pretty arrogant at times. However, if you get people talking everyone usually DOES have real value to contribute-- they have experience you don't in some aspect of any given topic and can help round out the discussion.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think the company is growing so fast it would benefit everyone to give more training to middle-level management, so as teams grow communication doesn't break down.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Too Much Culture

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

    I have been working at Riot Games full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great benefits and very employee focused company - very forward thinking place - good salaries and pretty good chance for advancement - lots of cross functional jobs

    Cons

    Too focused on culture and wanting everyone to fit into it. During orientation they say repeatedly, "Just be yourself". What they really mean is be yourself as long as it just like everyone else here. Bottom line: If you are not a gamer and you don't play the game then you don't belong here. Even if your job is not centered on the game or really has anything to do with the game you will be required or "strongly urged" to become a gamer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let people really be themselves. A cult of gaming zombies will only take the company so far.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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