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Riot Games Reviews

Updated February 21, 2018
426 reviews

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Riot Games CEO Brandon Beck
Brandon Beck
346 Ratings

426 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • I signed up to deal with the massive amounts of data that League of Legends collects (in 35 reviews)

  • Work-life balance is outstanding (in 20 reviews)

Cons
  • Work/Life balance can be tricky (in 59 reviews)

  • The growing pains combined with lack of long term, or often even short term vision means there is a LOT of wasted output (in 25 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Amazing place to work despite some growing pains"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Researcher
    Current Employee - Senior Researcher
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Riot Games full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Company genuinely believes and tries to live a player-first mentality (even if not always successful). Impressive that we haven't lost this as we've grown.
    - Despite below complaints, we still find ways to innovate and make LoL a better and better game
    - Vast amount of autonomy in work choice, method
    - Ability to influence product direction
    - Strong discipline management that encourages growth and quality work. Also supports you without micro-managing
    - Benefits are pretty stellar (medical, free food, unlimited PTO, holidays, gym, counseling, and more)
    - Lot of smart freaking people around you and there are tons of opportunities to learn
    - Salary is competitive

    Cons

    - In general, we're feeling the pain of transitioning from a small company that explosively grew into a larger one. We're not sure what processes work and we've been slow to catch up to our own success.
    - Company leadership is struggling to find it's path. This is changing, but generally speaking there isn't a ton of real direction provided by them and their roles/responsibilities are unclear
    - Development is just too slow. Despite motto around staying hungry, I think we've lost site of what that means in an environment where it seems like we have all the time/money in the world
    - R&D is still figuring out how to be good at what it does. Too slow, too lax.

    Advice to Management

    Senior leadership needs to be more specific and current with its direction and strategy. Many wishy-washy terms that need clearer definition, and there doesn't seem to be a ton of awareness of how the current market is shaping up/what the opportunities are.


  2. Helpful (20)

    "It's Make-or-Break Time"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Riot Games full-time

    Pros

    Everyone has already mentioned the extremely generous perks and benefits that Riot offers so I won’t go too much into that. Riot is a place where you can feel inspired working with some of the most incredible and brilliant minds you’ll likely ever work with anywhere in your career. You also get the opportunity to take on passion projects outside the scope of your immediate responsibilities more so than you might at most other organizations.

    Cons

    The “D20,” what we call the senior leaders who report into the three new executive heads, are an interesting group. There are a small handful in that group the rest of the organization views as competent. The rest are a disaster combination of highly insecure men (literally we are talking about men) who also think they know best and constantly compete to be the smartest voice in the room. Then we wonder why we have failed to produce a legitimate second game despite unlimited funds, resources and freedom from constraints for years.

    Advice to Management

    To the three new executive heads, you are being watched very closely at this pivotal point in time and your decisions on what you do with your leadership team can make or break this company; it can mean the difference between your highest performers in the rest of the org staying or going. This is your opportunity to turn things around and we are all holding our collective breaths and praying that you get this right.

    Any one of your “D20” leaders who consistently blames the system, or other teams and/or especially members of their own teams as reasons why they are struggling, especially if these leaders have been in their jobs for more than 4 or 5 years, should be swiftly and unceremoniously exited from the company. Total ownership is a mindset change and mindset changes could take years to internalize. We don’t have years, the stakes are too high. If a leader at that high level of authority in the organization cannot find a way to turn the ship around after multiple years, they should not be in that role.

    You have a goldmine of top-tier, passionate talent at your fingertips, they are being severely handicapped from reaching their full capabilities by the egos and incompetence of your senior leadership. If you don’t fix this soon, you’ll lose your talent.

    Your already-minuscule population of women leaders are slowly becoming flight risks, not only because it’s hard to be a female leader here (and let’s be clear, it is hard) but because we look around us and see so many incompetent men who have mastered the art of speaking confidently rising in the leadership ranks and staying there despite ongoing ineptitude. The “embrace failure” mantra only applies to the men here, who are not held accountable for those failures especially if they are one of the “bros”, whereas the women get raked over the coals for any missteps.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Release"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Strong culture. Greet people. Good times :)

    Cons

    Too many cooks, not enough accountability.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on what’s going on around middle management.

    Never had a good middle Manager, and it hurts morale.


  4. "Gamer's dream! Fun culture, with serious workers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Riot Games full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Lots of freedom to take on initiatives, plenty of opportunities to solve different problem spaces, you can build relationships even with others not immediately within your working ladder, and the culture has plenty of likeminded gamers who believe in the Riot Manifesto.

    Cons

    Can be easy to be overwhelmed at first as no one is going to hand hold you, work life balance can be off if you don't keep an eye on it, growth is on you to figure out which is a good and bad thing, easy to feel intimidated by longer standing workers and strong personalities. These are all solvable with the right mentality though!

    Advice to Management

    It's easy to get disconnected from your workers and miss the signs of pain through your workforce. Always keep an eye out and keep your ears close to the ground.


  5. "Best Company I've Worked For"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Riot Games full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There are lots of pros and I feel they are subjective to each person, but to me , the biggest pro is the culture at Riot. Previous companies I've worked for have a manifesto but don't eat their own dog food, that is not the case at Riot and it generally puts a smile on my face when decisions are made based around how impacting it will be our players overall experience (positive or negative) and focus is adjusted in a positive direction.

    I'm genuinely excited to be at work everyday. After a year that honestly hasn't changed.

    Cons

    Hard Cons:
    - Location. If you plan on being close to work be ready for the sticker shock.
    - Location. If you plan on commuting to work, LA traffic won't let you down on being pissed off in your car :)
    - Work/Life balance requires refocusing on smaller teams.

    Meh Cons:
    - There is a high technical bar, that doesn't seem to stay in one place long enough to reach it, so lane swaps and teleports don't happen as much as you would expect.
    - The silo effect is real up until the last.. possible... minute....

    Advice to Management

    Senior Management communication to the organization is above the fold in terms of what I have experienced in the past, stay on course please....

    Help avoid the silo effect by fostering better communication habits within smaller teams about what they are working on and who their customers are internally.

    Documentation and collaboration could use some adjusting as most relevant reading material isn't accessible without reaching out to the appropriate owners for access to read about what they are working on.


  6. "Family"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Riot Games full-time

    Pros

    I work with some incredible and talented people. They are all (company wide) like family. We strive to give the best that we can and it shows.

    Cons

    Work/Life balance can be tricky.


  7. Helpful (18)

    "Solid Fundamentals hidden by Leadership Bloat, Inability to Make Decisions"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineering Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Engineering Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Fantastic, highly competitive perks
    - Competitive pay (in Engineering)
    - The best teams practice great balance of autonomy, empowerment and direction
    - Huge fans of gaming, the most supportive, fun and exciting group of passionate industry professionals you'll ever work with
    - Huge breadth of experience, mentors are easy to find if you seek them out
    - The culture "bleeds" the manifesto, when it's working it is truly amazing, the strength of that manifesto allows even struggling teams to do reasonably well
    - If you follow the manifesto and have a good supportive manager, you can do very well here.
    - The people here are generally amazing, you really can "Default to Trust" for most people doing the work in the rank and file, everyone is well intentioned and trying to win.
    - Riot celebrates those who take accountability seriously
    - So much more than "just a game company", you'll likely learn more here in a few years than a decade at any other company

    Cons

    - "Old Guard" leaders protected by past successes and rarely held accountable without great effort, and risk
    - Feedback culture can be manipulated by those who want to retain power or squash criticism
    - Struggling to do too much, with an inability to focus means strategic decisions flip-flop and rarely last longer to 3-4 months
    - Senior Leaders have forgotten how to play a support leadership role
    - Product and Delivery disciplines have huge variances in competencies of individuals
    - Too Many "Chefs" in the kitchen in too many aspects of technical direction
    - Huge variances in pay between disciplines compound pay differences between those doing the work and those not contributing (you may find a QA/Release/Product/Delivery person working 5 times as hard as an engineering technical leader paid half what that leader is paid)
    - Huge variance in quality of managers/leaders means you roll the dice on whether you get a good or bad one, and bad ones can set your career back years
    - Vertical growth is all but dead, don't come here to move upwards. Someone has to quit, or be fired to create a vertical slot for growth and it's likely it'll be filled by a new hire, not an existing rioter
    - Horizontal (breadth) growth is difficult to achieve, there's a very large risk of getting stuck doing one thing for over 5 years and getting type cast into a role. As the company ages transfers between disciplines and product teams has ground to trickle
    - Attitude towards new product development has resulted in isolationist thinking, cultures are literally different, so are performance metrics and accountability, between large product groups at the company (esports, league, new games, central services)
    - Struggling to deal with the lack of diversity it's culture and focus on core gamers has created, mostly male management is blind and biased to the priority of the problem
    - Success requires being a member of the "bro culture/boys club" or working yourself to death to be visible, you need to play the "Cover Your A.. butt" game well here
    - Accountability culture can be used against you (your leaders will usually push fault down to the first person who claims fault, rather than take accountability themselves)

    Advice to Management

    It's time to put the big kid pants on and grow up. You need far more direct measures of performance on senior leaders and you need to focus on growth and retention of talent. You are not as good as you think you are and it's starting to challenge the "stay humble" aspects of your culture. The troops are not rallying to a unifying cause and starting to splinter under the weight of so many strategic directions. You have great people working for you who aren't growing.

  8. "Great for passionate self-starters, but sometimes lacks support for others"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - ESports Coordinator in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - ESports Coordinator in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Incredibly passionate and talented coworkers and leadership
    Leadership cares about employees
    True focus on our players first
    Empowerment to pursue your ideas and personal growth

    Cons

    Lack of career guidance / paths to promotions
    Large personalities dominate meetings
    Knowing the right person is more important than having the best ideas
    Open office layout is often loud, chaotic


  9. Helpful (9)

    "Downward Trajectory"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Riot Games full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Autonomy; People play games during work; Casual environment; Free food

    Cons

    Extremely poor leadership in most teams. Egos rule all and change happens too sluggishly to warrant the "challenge convention" company motto. Founders recently stepped down from leading the company to.... do nothing? Very unclear what comes next for this company.

    Advice to Management

    Don't solicit reviews from your employees... what makes you think this is a good idea?


  10. Helpful (2)

    "It's my dream"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Riot Games full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - The culture is what I've always wanted. A place where it's cool to be a nerd and people care passionately about what they're working on. People don't ask "do you play games?" but instead as "what games do you play?" I think it would be hard for a non-gamer to feel at home here unless you were highly competitive (e.g. sports) or had another deep passion in a nerdy thing (e.g. comics, harry potter, etc) and could empathize with your coworkers and players. People game LoL and other games during the day at work, which is so awesome. BUT if you don't like games, you might feel resentful of people doing that.
    - Riot is an inspiring place to be. Leadership continues to impress me with exciting vision and a focus on player value that manages to actually feel true. We have bi-monthly all-company meetings, and I always walk away from those feeling very proud of my place of work.
    - Learning is highly emphasized, including through many on-site classes that are truly excellent and help me improve in my day to day work as well as things I could take into my next career.
    - The perks are ridiculously good.

    Cons

    - Santa Monica is really expensive so it's really hard to find housing nearby, and if you don't live nearby, you've got a long commute ahead of you.
    - Some people take the perks for granted, or feel like all process is bad so we should do whatever we want, which leads to some entitlement that can be very frustrating.
    - As a woman, I was really worried about bro culture at Riot. I was happily surprised to find it not the case in general. But there are pockets of bro culture here and there, which can make me feel isolated. Plus it's tough going into a room full of high-powered men (most of the leadership is male) and being strong enough to have a voice. Diversity & Inclusion is something the leadership is taking seriously, but it's got a long way to go.

    Advice to Management

    Keep focusing on diversity & inclusion.


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