Mission: Riot aspires to be the most player-focused company in the world.
Best Places to Work: 2016 (#18)
Richard Ye, a software engineer on the League of Legends team describes our in-client animation techniques and when we use them.
Marc Merrill (our co-founder) visited the Marshall school of business at USC to give a master class on entrepreneurship and gaming. Here's what students say they learned.
We aspire to be the most player-focused game company in the world. Riot Games was established in 2006 by a couple of entrepreneurial gamers who believe player-focused game development can result in awesome games. In 2009, we released our debut title, League of Legends, to critical and player acclaim. Over 67 million play every month.
We know players form the foundation of our community and it’s for them that we continue to evolve and improve the League of Legends experience.
WHERE WE PLAY
Riot Games’ HQ is based in sunny Los Angeles, California, but we’ve got 17 offices across the globe. Our international teams ensure that player experiences aren’t lost in translation - no matter your latitude and longitude, you’re still a Rioter.
We work in a collaborative, fast-paced and learning-rich environment with a veteran development team anchored by accomplished leaders in engineering, design, art, publishing and more. We don't believe in micro-management - Rioters have lots of room to manage themselves, and teams of Rioters operate with tons of freedom to unleash their creativity.
Let’s be real about the pace of life at Riot. Rioters work hard. That’s because constantly delighting and earning player trust is hard work. And it’s also because Riot’s an unabashed meritocracy -- where professional competence, quality of craft, and ultimate delivery of extraordinary results matter a great deal. Rewards and recognition are allocated based on performance, not seniority, likability, or anything else.
So we work hard. But not stupid hard. Healthy professional careers are built sustainably. Crushing it for a month or a quarter and then burning out isn’t healthy. We expect everyone at Riot to establish a high-performance pace that they can comfortably sustain for years. And we expect Rioters to take advantage of our open PTO policy (see “Our Benefits” section) to relax, recharge, and reinvigorate .
Riot's a global company – in addition to the Los Angeles headquarters (located just minutes from the beach), we've got outposts in Berlin, Brighton, Dublin, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Mexico City, Moscow, New York, St. Louis, Santiago, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Taipei, and Tokyo.
Our goal is to become the most player-focused company in the world. With this mission in mind, we develop high-quality games and services enjoyed by tens of millions of players around the world.
To help ensure that every hire is truly onboard and aligned with our mission to serve players, we rigorously screen every candidate not just for skill and experience but also for cultural fit. To this end, we also offer new hires cash to quit -- because we want everyone here to be really bought in to our mission and values.
We also take play seriously. For us, it’s never "just a game." We play lots of games, especially our own. Everyone’s first day at Riot begins with a play test. We try to make it a daily habit. Although we’re serious professionals, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Whether it’s memes in presentations, squirt guns at Show & Tell, or the PC Bangs built into the heart of new offices, we make time for play and fun.
At our core, we're a group of passionate people who embrace new challenges, thrive in finding smart, out-of-the-box solutions, sometimes lose things , and love League of Legends and this industry. If this sounds like a team you'd like to be a part of, check out our job openings in Los Angeles, Berlin, Brighton, Mexico City, Dublin, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Moscow, New York, St. Louis, São Paulo, Seoul, Sydney, Taipei, Tokyo, and Santiago.
As we focus on creating the best player experiences, we also strive to create a place where Rioters will thrive. Here are a few of the benefits for Rioters in Los Angeles:
PERKS BEYOND THE NORM
It's Riot Games, Inc., policy to provide equal employment opportunity for all applicants and members of the Riot team. Riot doesn't unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, handicap, veteran status, marital status, or any other category protected by applicable federal and state law. Riot also makes reasonable accommodations for handicapped and disabled Rioters.
If you're an ambitious undergrad or grad student who shares our passion for games (especially League of Legends) and are eager to get into scrapes with challenging work, think about spending next summer with us. Look for info on remaining open intern positions and our 2016 Internship Program here.
Each hosting team will supply its interns with meaty projects, honest mentorship and lots of opportunities to get to know Riot Games overall. Interns will playtest new champions and features, gain first-hand experience serving on the front lines of player support, attend leadership seminars and industry education via Riot U, enjoy events with the rest of Riot including Riot Rumble, League skills training, and early new movie screenings. Riot interns also receive housing for the summer.
I have been working at Riot Games full-time (More than 5 years)
Riot puts a serious and genuine emphasis on both professional and personal growth. On top of the L&D courses they offer, Riot's packed full of some of the smartest industry professionals out there. If they've got the time, they'll help you grow beyond what you thought was possible. If they don't, many will prioritize their time around mentoring and growing their people.
The perks and benefits offered to Riot and our S/Os is leaps and bounds better then I've ever experienced anywhere. Things like unlimited PTO, on campus lunch & dinner, annual stipends to buy games, and so much more make Riot an incredible place to work.
With the explosion of League of Legends, Riot's been playing catch up ever since. While they catch up, it's created some significant growing pains that come with the territory. One of the last areas this exists is the HR/Talent org, where they are, and have been working like crazy to get things running smooth. Things like internal communications, finance and recruiting are still struggling to scale with the rest of the company, struggling to create and implement processes across the entire org. The start-up feelings are all but gone, minus some of the pain-points I mentioned above.
It's also not for everyone, if you're at the point in your career where you're looking for a resting spot for a few years, Riot is not that place. It will chew you up and spit you back out in no time. You have to be the kind of person that likes to be challenged, day in and day out, otherwise don't waste your time, and their time.
Advice to Management
There needs to be more accountability with Managers. Too often I see junior employees get placed on a performance improvement plan (PIP) by the same manager, while that manager often times isn't held accountable for their shortcomings. It's definitely gotten a lot better over the years, but still needs some work.
If Riot keeps looking after their people & and players, they'll of achieved their goal of becoming the most player focused game company in the world.
I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Riot Games (Los Angeles, CA).
I heard back from Riot far quicker than I would have expected to, given the size of the company, and had my first interview set up within a week. The next interview ended up taking a few weeks to get settled, but that was mostly due to me traveling and not being available immediately. In the end, both off-site interviews were smooth and then things clearly got a bit busy internally (and I was doing some more traveling), though recruiting kept me updated and at no point did things really seem stalled so much as just a victim of schedules conflicting.
It was about a month and a half between my last online interview & my on-site being scheduled, with me actually ending up on a cross-country plane that same evening, for an interview that started the following morning. I can imagine that this sort of thing would've been very challenging for someone less flexible / able to work remotely, and it did result in me having to deal with some obligations that couldn't be rescheduled very early in the morning the next day, prior to the interview.
The on-site itself was a variety of 1:1s, and 1:2s, everyone I spoke to was very engaged and fully committed to figuring out if I was a good fit for the role. There was a lot of investment in trying to identify culture fit, and just as many questions about work I'd done and how I approach problems. Additionally, everyone was very candid in response to my own questions which is always a good thing to see as a candidate.
At the end, it was shared with me in-person that I wasn't the right fit, but was told that it'd be possible there might be another role that would be a better fit. Unfortunately, I never heard back, originally chalking it up to the holidays being hectic, but even a few attempts to follow-up received no response at all. Not entirely sure what happened, since previously the recruiting coordinator had been extremely responsive.
Overall, the interview process itself was great, and I left the on-site feeling like it had been a positive experience regardless of the end result. The lack of any follow-up at all after was a disappointment.