Riot Games Reviews | Glassdoor

Riot Games Reviews

Updated November 20, 2018
486 reviews

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4.0
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Nicolo Laurent
39 Ratings

486 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "Work/Life balance requires refocusing on smaller teams" (in 63 reviews)

  • "While they catch up, it's created some significant growing pains that come with the territory" (in 32 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "It's chilling out here lol"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Riot Games full-time

    Pros

    good culture good atmosphere love the people

    Cons

    Dont have any significant downside


  2. Helpful (7)

    "Great Place to Work, Current Undergoing Significant Transformations/Growing Pains"

    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

    - Total Ownership -
    Individuals and teams are empowered to chart their own course. Whether it's the hours you work, the side projects you want to pursue, or the direction of your discipline or product group, there is very little red tape or bureaucracy to hamstring you (but you DO need to have strong communication skills to make an argument for it, and/or bring data to back it up)

    - Work With Smart, Talented People -
    Riot has a very high hiring bar (from both a craft and a culture perspective), and it shows. You'll work with some of the most talented and passionate people you've ever met here, and you'll likely be inspired to grow as a professional and as a person

    - Beautiful Campus, Great Benefits -
    All the material aspects of working at Riot (comp, location, benefits, facilities) are all pretty much best-in-class. Large open campus, subsidized (and unlimited) food that doesn't suck, unlimited PTO, annual allowance to spend on games, generous relocation assistance, can request any hardware/software you need to help you do your job, etc...

    - Gamer Culture -
    If you're passionate about gaming/nerd culture, enjoy playing games at work, and want to use games as a way to build personal and professional relationships, Riot is [currently] a place where you're going to flourish

    Cons

    Elitist vibe/standards can make getting a job (and building a team) here unnecessarily difficult, and can lead to people experiencing a persistent "outsider syndrome" (e.g. assuming they're the least smart/talented person in the room, and worrying about their future employment).

    Giving individuals ultimate responsibility (without rigid rules to guide + protect them) has downsides if you're not confident enough to fight for everything you want. For example, there's no real guide to when you can use your "unlimited" PTO, and asking leads to a sort of cryptic "I don't know, do YOU think you should go on PTO?" attitude from management. That can be pretty anxiety-inducing if you're a newer employee and don't know exactly where you stand (the same is true of work/life balance more generally).

    Recent negative publicity has highlighted [cultural] growing pains that the company has historically been slow to lean into as it's transitioned into a much larger/multi-game studio. They essentially need to tame the "Wild West" of their early startup days, and put stronger rules and processes in place that protect the small number of individuals who might be unintentional "victims" of that small town culture, and that punish the small number of individuals that exploit it.

    That's all well and good, and the vast majority of folks seem to be in support of these changes. Unfortunately, there are pockets of resistance (leaders and old guard who don't want to let go of their "kingdoms"), and pockets of activists (who are using this as an excuse to start a witch hunt/power-grab and transform the culture of the company entirely from one that is united by a love of games into one that is divided by resentful identity politics). The outlook remains hopeful though, as senior leadership has remained largely transparent, mature, and clear-headed throughout the changes.

    Advice to Management

    Stay firm to your commitments to be a player-focused company, and to not bow to the pressures of external (or internal) mobs and identity politics. Embrace viewpoint diversity, and look to the current state of American universities as an example of what NOT to do (i.e. coddling, safe spaces, and stoking the fires of political polarization and hate-disguised-as-progressiveness).

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Getting better, but with embarrassing leadership"

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

    I have been working at Riot Games full-time

    Pros

    Company is more focused now.

    Cons

    The CEO is incompetent. It's clear that employees don't take him seriously.

    Advice to Management

    Replace 2 of the 3 leaders of the company. It's very clear which 2 do not belong.


  4. "A sexist environment driven by gender discrimination and inequality."

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

    I worked at Riot Games full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Some of the best talent you’ll work with in the industry, amazing health insurance, and open PTO.

    Cons

    Riot hires talented individuals and fails to let them do their jobs. They discriminate against women and damage careers.

    Riot also terminates people when they speak out against incompetent management, and they have a track record of using the latter against employees by calling out “performance issues” with no documentation.

    If employees communicate feeling unsafe to HR (“Talent”), Talent will do whatever they can to out you. No one is “safe” and they’ll work hard to push you out.

    Advice to Management

    It’s time to fire two of your three main executives. They are core parts of Riot’s pending downfall, and the the Kotaku articles call that out.


  5. Helpful (54)

    "Overall happy but women aren't treated well here"

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

    I have been working at Riot Games full-time

    Pros

    Good pay for the video game industry, lots of opportunities to learn and grow, good benefits and lots of nice, well intentioned people.

    Cons

    Widespread and institutionalized sexism. Poor treatment of mothers and expectant mothers, as well as women in general. This is a company that would rather have a free smoothie bar and a PC cafe where people can slack off during work hours than a daycare center. On a campus of over 1000 people, there is literally one small closet for women to pump breast milk in.

     A friend of mine told me recently that HR set up a meeting with her specifically to tell her that because she didn't have a note specifying a medical restriction from her doctor during her pregnancy, that if her performance dropped, she could be fired and would have no legal recourse. This person is clearly very productive and well regarded those she works with. She said it added to her already high level of anxiety about her pregnancy.

    In addition to that, all you have to do is look at the ratio of women in leadership positions to realize that there is institutionalized bias against promoting women. This doesn't seem to be improving with time, despite all the lip service management pays toward an effort to have greater diversity in leadership.

    Advice to Management

    Stop treating your female employees so poorly.

    Riot Games Response

    Jun 14, 2018

    Hey there,

    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts here. My name is Alice, I am a Talent Partner at Riot and a mom.

    We have a number of benefits that support pregnant and nursing... More


  6. "Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Riot Games full-time

    Pros

    Great culture, great perks, great leadership

    Cons

    Player focus can sometimes be an unclear goal and takes priority over clear metrics at other companies like budgets or spend


  7. "Amazing company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    nice atmosphere to work everyone was friendly and helpful

    Cons

    sometimes there would be no direction towards game play

  8. Helpful (12)

    "Circling the wagons"

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

    I have been working at Riot Games full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    - League of Legends is a fantastic game
    - Good Health & Decent Retirement benefits
    - High density of talent
    - Appealing stated values
    - Huge competitive moat
    - strong publishing partners (Tencent & Garena)

    Cons

    - Leadership. It goes beyond the sexism expressed recently in press and various blogs. They are well entrenched and have effective mechanisms to quell dissent and prevent shifts in culture that would compromise their power and influence.
    - Inability to ship product on all levels, from simple web experiences to new games.
    - The League team is only a small portion of Riot, what is everyone else doing?
    - Executive leadership now in place is absolutely not capable of inspiring and leading the amazing talent at Riot.
    - Variable compensation structure is comically inadequate for all but the most sr. Employees.

    Advice to Management

    It’s time to reflect in how you got to the position you have and perhaps step aside and promote some of the truly amazing talent you have hired into product over the years into positions of company leadership.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Dedicated to solving problems"

    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 5 years)

    Pros

    Riot is one of those rare companies where the mission and vision are more than words on a page. We all truly believe in what we're doing and our focus on players lies at the core of every decision we make. Riot is "tough" in the sense that you'll experience an uncomfortable feeling of growth that helps you improve as a professional and a person. If you can adapt, give and receive feedback, and work with the people around you, you'll find a rewarding career at Riot.

    Riot has pros and cons, and unlike other companies I've worked at, we're aware of our shortcomings and actively working on finding the optimal culture, structure, philosophy, etc. to help us ship the best products. I'm endlessly impressed with our leaders' ability to realize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution and weigh that in our cultural and product decisions. Have there been missteps? Yes. Do we learn and improve? Yes.

    -Autonomy - you'll be given ownership over large problems and expected to deliver with the help of others
    -Passion - everyone who works at Riot cares deeply about players
    -Feedback / open-mindedness - feedback is an expectation. No one is above criticism, and your merit is based on what you do, not who you are, how long you've been here, or how good you are at hiding
    -Agility - doing something "because that's how we've always done it" isn't good enough at Riot. We constantly measure our impact, decisions, and processes to adapt to the current environment
    -PEOPLE - the people at Riot are unbelievably talented and humble. Every time I talk to a new person, I learn about some fascinating area of expertise, and everyone's so willing to share their experience
    -Transparency - Riot leadership is extremely accessible and open about our strategy and roadmap. Every couple of weeks we sit down and do an AMA and talk about challenges, products, etc. This extends to teams as well. The environment is very "open door”

    Cons

    First, some quick thoughts on the current diversity discussion: the recent articles on Kotaku were painful to read. We've been discussing these articles as a company for over a month now (and we've been discussing the problem for years) and I think we're making some great strides. It's horrible that anyone at Riot ever felt like they weren't valued or treated fairly - we need create a better environment and solve this problem at Riot, in the industry, and on planet Earth if we hope to reach equilibrium, and that's a tall order. The reason I'm still here and still writing a five star review is that I'm 100% confident that Riot has the people and tools to solve this problem, and we're seeing the progress right now. There's plenty more to unpack here, but I actually think Riot is in a much better place in regards to diversity and inclusion than any company I've worked at in the past.

    -Ambiguity - all the autonomy comes with ambiguity. Rioters own their products and decisions, and that can be daunting. It takes some getting used to but it means you'll have a broader scope and more room to grow
    -Lifecycle - Riot grew incredibly fast and that means we've got some tech and organizational debt to clean up. We're still very much in startup mode but we're learning how to create healthy processes and standards to become more efficient and mature


  10. Helpful (12)

    "Everything You Read About Sexism is True"

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

    I worked at Riot Games full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There are good people peppered through the organization.

    Cons

    It's a bro culture revolved around group think. In their minds you have to be an enthusiast of the game to get hired and thus a lot of departments are staffed with like minded sexist bros who think nothing of making rape jokes. If you call it out as a woman, you are a (insert explicative here) and guys who make efforts to stand up for them make them the target. Women learn to sit back and just not give their ideas. The only reason they are giving lip service to this is because they got busted, but the bad practices are only being turned down a notch rather than going away.

    Otherwise it is a company without direction. Rather than focus on becoming a serious game publisher, they rather keep up with League even as it is diminishing with time (it's why other publishers have more than one game) and a lot of e-sports are past their peak. However, this would require a corporate mindset that is looking forward, something that doesn't tend to happen when you only hire within your own fanbase.

    It's a company in search of renewed relevance now that there are multiple real competitors making a more interesting game experience for an audience who isn't angry boys exercising frustrations on everyone else.

    Advice to Management

    Your culture is as poisonous as the players you cater to. And because every inch of your hiring is around catering to your own customers and hiring them to run your product, it's small wonder that nothing changes.

    Riot Games Response

    Nov 15, 2018 – Talent Generalist

    Hi,

    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts here. I’m Susannah, and I’m a Talent Generalist at Riot. First and foremost, I want you to know you can reach me at suyoung@riotgames.com... More


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