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Riot Games

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Riot Games Product Manager Reviews

Updated Mar 14, 2021

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Found 15 of over 771 reviews

3.5
68%
Recommend to a Friend
42%
Approve of CEO
Riot Games CEO Nicolo  Laurent (no image)
Nicolo Laurent
5 Ratings

Ratings by Demographics

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  1. 5.0
    Former Employee, more than 5 years

    Great company with performance anxiety

    Dec 10, 2019 - Product Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Dedicated people Actual gamers Does everything for the player

    Cons

    Doesn't always do everything for employees Has a hard time getting code out to players Tends to over-value pedigree from ivy league and mbas

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    6 people found this review helpful
  2. 4.0
    Former Employee, more than 3 years

    Great for young and career starting folks, not so great for more senior talent

    Feb 8, 2021 - Senior Product Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Riot Games is an established global games publisher. If you like games, the industry and you are starting or early in your career - definitely apply, it will be a great place for you to work and develop yourself. Nowadays, It is more of a corporation than an innovative startup though. It once dared to dream and defied the rules of the game industry establishment, but now it is part of the establishment. So if you are a senior manager and above, be ready for a good old corporate world of politics, incompetent management, zero accountability, and lack of growth opportunities. The good: - Great talent inside the game studio teams including the executive producers. Go there if you can as it will feel exactly as if you were working in a great game studio. - Great autonomy for a self-starter: you will define what you think you should be doing, align stakeholders, ship it, then rinse and repeat. You may even grow over time if your role/level allows it. - The onboarding program is quite good, although be careful with expectations set there. - True flexible hours, remote-friendly environment (3/2 post COVID), good time-off opportunities. The company’s break during December, sometimes company-wide days off to cope with burnout. - The Internal Job Market that actually works. Apply to a new role internally once you fulfill your first role’s mission. Do not stay in the same role for more than 2 years. - The company does sincerely try to be inclusive and some things they do in that regard are good indeed. They do try indeed to improve it. - If you are from other parts of the game industry the comp should feel fine. But the company is not competitive versus top tech firms and is being open about it. Do not expect any serious comp increases with promotions as all of it is heavily regulated by the talent team. - post-COVID, you will enjoy a great LAX office with Bilgewater coffee, snacks, free lunch, and dinner, unless it goes away due to the virus. There is a PC Cafe area, plenty of activities you can do while meeting other people (basketball, ping pong, arcade machines). - The benefits package is good, features a play fund and wellbeing fund as well as good coverage for your family members. - There is a good deal of understanding of what it is like when you have small kids, especially now.

    Cons

    The bad: - Despite its name (Riot) suggesting a rebellion the company is nowadays a typical game publisher with studios, where unless you are an “industry veteran”, “shipped AAA titles in leadership roles” BS you likely have no future in higher ranks (inversely if you are game industry veteran - you will do great) - No real investment into talent or craft, there are only talks and plans and constant promises with no accountability. No serious learning courses and programs. Lack of mentorship and definitely no proper performance coaching. - The internal knowledge system is basically outdated garbage by now (it used to be OK). So be ready to go through a ton of poorly structured docs and keep in mind most of that can be inaccurate. - Player focus gets weaponized a lot. You may receive feedback that you are not player-focused while in fact, you do 0 work for players to consume. So it is best to be on a team shipping something to players at Riot. - Pretty bad change management during org changes. You can get hired to do one thing and then your superiors will expect you to do 3x more and other things without any reset in expectations. And surely expect no conversation about your comp increase or even title change. - No compensation for overtime. If you are a software engineer and you joined a team with a lot of live incidents, expect to do a lot of on-call duties without any additional benefit (you may take a day off though). - You will encounter a lot of documents describing what good looks like, such as Manager Expectations, and then learn that no one really holds managers accountable for what they should do. Generally do not expect Riot managers to be good people managers. There are a lot of people in the M category with no clue or actual training to manage people or they simply won’t have time for you. - The new talent team hired mostly from Blizzard is basically on an “optimization” mission similar to what Blizzard had after M&A. This means the comp changes and promotions are capped with percentages and quotas as a way to help pay equality (what?!)

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    11 people found this review helpful
  3. 1.0
    Former Contractor

    Toxic environment

    Mar 14, 2021 - Project Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Cool perks; free subsidized food / snacks / drinks;

    Cons

    Toxic environment; very male / bro culture; high turnover;

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  4. 3.0
    Current Employee, more than 8 years

    Pros and cons of heavy bureaucracy

    Feb 3, 2020 - Product Manager in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    In pockets you can still find really talented passionate and dedicated people

    Cons

    In response to the corporate controversy, Riot had made some great changes and some terrible ones. Riot's executive leadership now has a sizable group who do not care about players, and have been setting the example that not caring is a perfectly acceptable stance to have. Riot may be the most player focused 3000 person gaming company out there, but we are no longer the most player focused company. And it's not even close. On top of that, Riot has greatly slowed down due to needing Central approval for an embarrassing amount of simple every day tasks.

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    7 people found this review helpful
  5. 1.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Talent continues to bleed out due to poor management

    Aug 25, 2019 - Product Manager in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Lots of passionate people who love playing games, along with a well stocked kitchen and cafe. You won't go hungry here, and can always find someone who has played some obscure title you think only you've played.

    Cons

    Riot went through a hyper growth phase where hiring decisions were very rushed; this resulted in a wide band of talent, very hit or miss. If you're lucky to have a good manager, you're good to go, otherwise, you'll find that your passion for the product, the company, and the industry will quickly disappear. A lot of managers have never been managers before, and some are afraid that the people they're managing will overtake them or make them look stupid, so a lot of brilliant talent end up finding other opportunities, leaving only the insecure managers and resulting in a cyclical decline in talent density.

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    26 people found this review helpful
  6. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 3 years

    Not without problems but still best place I’ve ever worked

    May 24, 2019 - Senior Product Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Get to work on products I love at a company that is always trying to do the right thing in the long run. Hands down beats my experiences at other major and smaller tech companies. Best free food I’ve eaten, benefits are great, and there is a lot of opportunity if you are willing to work for it. Despite all that has appeared in the media, I retain a lot of confidence in the leadership and roadmap of the company.

    Cons

    Not everyone is willing to work for it. Some people join straight out of university or another entry level job and want a promotion after 6 months. We spend a lot of time catering to the needs and desires of people who lack strong professional experience at other major organizations. A self empowered organization is great, but can lead to a lot of struggles at times.

    6 people found this review helpful
  7. 1.0
    Current Employee, more than 5 years

    Failing fast

    Dec 23, 2018 - Senior Product Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Nice campus, great talents in the working team, good enough compensation in gaming industry

    Cons

    Riot made some impressive breakthroughs in early days. (Game as a service, esports, talent-focused value). Sadly, like many successful companies that failed (Blackberry, Nokia), Riot leadership team builds up a big ego and hasn’t been humble and lived up to the manifestos. Bad management, silo teams with overlapping responsibilities, one of the worst compensation system as such a sizable company, inexperienced and bro mgmt team (D20). A CEO who never manages a company, a CTO who didn’t understand work place is not ur frat There are always plenty of excuses not to try new things. Fears of failure result in no new games after so many years and countless missed opportunities. Just because you don’t know how to do it or you are afraid to fail is not the reason to stop new ideas. No strategy nor vision because the management team doesn’t know how to do it and never did it before. (First time! ). Companies who can’t continue inventing and being humble always fail. Riot is going on that path with the current leadership team.

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    32 people found this review helpful
  8. 4.0
    Current Employee, less than 1 year

    Senior-ish perspective on Riot Games

    Jan 10, 2018 - Product Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    - A lot of room for the company to improve and grow, so lots of opportunities to do good things and have success. It won't be easy, but you won't be bored! - I've found most people to be great. Fun to work with, love video games, just good peeps - Just a cool place to work - as someone who didn't come from games/media/tech, it's a neat campus with great amenities and cool stuff going on . I feel really well treated and taken care of, and that I'm working with like minded individuals.

    Cons

    - I'm finding a lack of good leaders at a higher level to really drive change. A lot of people in roles that are probably too big for their britches. Or not enough high level leaders, leading to overstretched people trying to do too much. It's turning around, but slowly. - Senior leaders still learning how to work together. Results in some pretty high-level churn on bigger decisions. The positive here is that the discussions are about the right things, but can still be frustrating! - If you're not in the tech field, expect some difficulty in finding the right role for you. Still not that great and understanding how to properly level people who aren't from traditional media/video game companies. This counts for both salary and title

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    1 person found this review helpful
  9. 1.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Passionate Employees Carry Leadership on their Backs

    May 3, 2015 - Product Manager in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Lots of incredibly talented specialists who are fun to work with on a team. The office space and extra curricular activities are great if you are young/single...seems like overkill if you aren't. Working at a game company and playing sometimes during the day is great.

    Cons

    There is a constant turn-over of leadership with little direction of the vision. As the company grows it is starting to become "just like any other company" by chasing after $s and making quick, short-term bets. There is a high level of nepotism still at the company which means people who were great during the start-up phase are underwater now that the company is larger. Also, until more titles come out there isn't really any room for career growth. The organization is flat which also means there aren't any open positions as LoL is pretty mature in its structure. I had people on my team who had been there for 3+ years who were bursting for change but couldn't afford to move. Finally, the culture of feedback is completely broken. There are no clear expectations or metrics. You have two choices...spend all day having one-on-ones to butter up your superiors or spend time doing your job. I honestly don't know how any work gets done with so many coffee chats during the day. All bark and no bite.

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    32 people found this review helpful
  10. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 3 years

    Pure Player Focused

    Apr 18, 2013 - Project Manager in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    - Everyone, from the leaders to player support and QA, is player focused. Everything Riot does is in the best interests of their players. I couldn't believe it when I joined ("surely they must think about money or budgets"), but they actually live by the philosophy of players first, always. No exceptions. - High hiring standards - you get the chance to work with talented, intelligent, and fun people almost exclusively. - Empowerment. No matter your role, you have a real chance to impact the game in a short timespan. It's not months after months after months before launching - you get to make a difference today.

    Cons

    - High standards means high turnover. Riot's culture can leave a lot of people feeling down at times. They have a culture of comradely, but also a culture of high standards. As a result, people will get let go that you might have had a personal connection with. - Not for everyone. Riot is a very busy and driven company.

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