Riot Games Reviews | Glassdoor

Riot Games Reviews

Updated July 13, 2017
342 reviews

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4.2
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Riot Games CEO Brandon Beck
Brandon Beck
279 Ratings

342 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • League of legends, the game title of Riot is still popular (in 32 reviews)

  • There's definitely a high regard for their employees and the work/life balance (in 17 reviews)

Cons
  • Poor work-life balance, you can work for months without rest (in 52 reviews)

  • Grew very fast and is experiencing growing pains (in 22 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "This is a great place to be in Gaming today"

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

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

    Pros

    Riot Games is a fantastic company, and I feel privileged to be part of this team. I’m surrounded by some of the brightest people I’ve ever met, and I’m constantly being pushed off my comfort zone by the type of challenges and problems we’re solving on a daily basis. It feels like a truly unique place in Gaming created by Gamers.

    So, what’s so special about it? Let me try to break it down by sections.

    Career opportunities:

    Riot Games promotes open feedback culture and the notion of continuous self-development. It feels that you're the sole owner of your success here due to the flat structure and how much freedom each Rioter is given. Everyone is encouraged to share their ideas, provide feedback and challenge the established notions. Though, to be fair, this is harder and harder to do due to the rapid growth of the company. Empowerment is a key word here - everyone is given the opportunity to solve problems and think creatively without being micromanaged. It's very common to hear that we "hire to elevate" so that each new hire always pushes the bar higher, or at the very least this is the genuine intent. As a result, there are many opportunities to learn and get coaching from some of the brightest people in the industry today.

    The company facilitates multiple personal development resources to all Rioters (formal training, certifications, assessments, 1on1s, development plans, mentorship opportunities). Every Rioter can sign-up to a training course with the approval from a manager. And so far in my experience, this is highly encouraged.

    Compensation & Benefits:

    In my experience, the Compensation is according to the market standards. Sometimes higher, sometimes lower depending on the role and the priority that the company puts into certain areas. For example, Engineering is a high priority area for Riot, so it’s reflected in compensation. Other areas in % terms may be closer to a market standard.

    Of course, you can’t disconnect compensation from the cost of living. The reality, Riot Central campus is located in Santa Monica - an expensive area, so it’s something to consider when relocating from the outside. I recommend doing a thorough research on rent, transportation routes, and general expenses before committing to a decision to move.

    The benefits outside of salary are numerous and include standard things like private health care, dental care, eye care, free food, and snacks but also numerous not so usual benefits such as travel allowance, gaming allowance and gym subsidizing.

    But most importantly I feel that the company cares about me as individual and valuing my contribution and provides numerous opportunities to learn and develop my skills. To me, this is the biggest benefit of being part of Riot.

    Work / Life balance:

    Riot Games is filled with passionate people who deeply care about what they do and feel committed to delivering player value. The company’s culture is very appealing if you’re a gamer and often I found myself volunteering my time because I wanted to get something done. And I know many Rioters do the same even if the company doesn’t technically demand that special commitment from you.

    I believe that you own that relationship with the company 100%. After about one year with Riot, I learned how to manage my Work / Life balance better. So, in the end, I think it comes down to the individual to decide how much of that personal time you want to dedicate.

    Now, my line of work doesn’t demand weekend work for example. If you’re in Esports or some Live Services functions, it may not be the same. Riot is big now; multiple functions demand different work schedules, overtime, and commitments from Rioters.

    Senior Management:

    The leadership team is stacked with some of the smartest people I’ve ever met. It’s not uncommon to see legendary game industry veterans walking in the halls of the Central Campus. Now, it goes without saying that Riot isn’t free from politics, as any big organization filled with humans and not robots. That said, I think that the leadership “walks the walk” when it comes to our core values and being laser focused on our audience.

    Cons

    Growing pains:

    It comes without saying that not everything is sunshine and rainbows here. I know that Riot Games isn’t the company for everyone. This culture can be welcoming to many but also very hostile to some. I read some reviews that were saying this is like a boys club. And I can see where those reviewers are coming from. This is the company built by Gamers for Gamers. If you’re not part of the Gaming community, it’s likely you won’t find your place here.

    The explosive growth led to some pains that come with it. Our processes, tools, and practices often lack rigor or don’t scale well with a fast-paced and growing organization. This means, tons of growing pains and hard choices that we need to make. But it also means opportunities for people to adapt, change roles and expand the scope are ever more present.

    The hiring bar today isn’t what it was 5 or even two years ago. As a result, we have people who only experienced Riot as their first employer or took on areas that they weren’t prepared or had experience in. This led to Rioters taking on responsibilities and challenges they weren’t necessarily ready for or had an adequate support. In some cases, it worked out, but in others, it led to some painful outcomes for the organization and Rioters involved in those situations. I think we’re trying to address this and I noticed that over the last year and a half we increased our focus on hiring Industry superstars without compromising our core values.

    - Sarkhan Lyutfaliev

    Advice to Management

    Make sure you do not surround yourself with the "Yes-Men". Strive to stay connected with the company and the regular Rioters that don't have exposure to the leadership layers. Especially on the Regional level since our offices are now all over the world. As we continue expanding on a global scale, it's important that we preserve our culture not just in the Central Campus but globally.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Fantastic place for driven people"

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

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

    Pros

    - Working on difficult problems at a large scale
    - Feels like you actually matter here
    - Fully-stocked kitchens and huge cafeteria
    - Fantastic compensation
    - Great PTO policy

    Cons

    - Everybody wants to do what's right, you need to make the case for your point of view (almost all the time).
    - Riot is pretty big now, starting to see the slowness of a large company.

    Advice to Management

    Don't stall on promotions or compensation increases for high performers. Annual team performance reviews are basically useless, people won't ask for reviews from those who will be more harsh.

  3. Helpful (87)

    "Bro culture at its worst"

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

    I worked at Riot Games full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Amazing cafeteria and campus. You won't want to go home.

    - Open PTO policy. No need to feel bad about taking PTO for sick days!

    - There are some VERY good people here and you'll make lifelong friends.

    - There are many resources available to you if you're interested in learning. I've never known a company so focused on education!

    Cons

    I'm echoing everything else that has been said in other negative reviews. It's a sad and sobering fact that none of them are overly dramatic. This place is extremely toxic.

    - "Bro culture" and harassment run rampant and pervades leadership. You know those Uber stories going around recently? Riot is a half-step down from those experiences. Your clout and stability are directly proportional to the state of your abs (I'm only somewhat kidding about this). Leadership is filled with privileged men who do not recognize their own privilege and destructively wield their lack of awareness.

    - In order to be successful at Riot you have to do one of two things: 1) deal with an absurd amount of nonsense (this is the majority of Rioters) or 2) play the political game of backstabbing, befriending the right people, and focusing on presentation rather than results or expertise. Nepotism is your friend. It is incredible how many incompetent, unproven people have risen their ways through the ranks just from smooth talking and agreeing with the people around them.

    - Senior leadership is the layer of cancer that infects the rest of the company. More and more "mercenaries" are being hired who are looking to not do much and take a lot of credit. There's an obliviousness/naivety to these kinds of mercenaries from leadership (yet obvious to everyone else), and they're always surprised when one leaves the company for more money somewhere else. Some have stayed long-term since they've discovered there isn't a lot of hard work to be done. All they have to do is ask some "powerful questions" to cast the illusion that they're adding value.

    - As progressive as Riot is in its employee policies, HR remains the same as every other company out there. They will not help you. They will only help the company. Do not bother bringing to their attention the problems you've experienced; they'll just run you around conducting interviews and not actually address the issue, especially if you have a grievance towards one specific person and that person has a powerful manager.

    - Practicing what you preach is not followed at Riot. Leadership loves to say that it's on you to call out bad people, experiences, people who are "misaligned", etc, but god forbid you challenge a leader when they're being hypocritical or doing a bad job. Your career at Riot will end if you rock the boat, even when it's clearly coming from a good place (like being player-focused). If you're perceived as "complaining" about an issue, you're done (doubly so if you're a woman). Leadership is void of empathy and loves to spin everything so that you're part of the problem when you bring something up. Phrases like, "Why don't you do something about it?" "Is this the appropriate way to bring it up?" are thrown at Rioters when they appropriately call out red flags, ignoring the facts that they have already taken the right steps or them calling it out IS doing something because they don't realistically have the power to affect it.

    This also relates to the privilege part I wrote out above: leadership sings about merit and disregards any real struggles people have when the odds are stacked against them. They fail to recognize that people don't "rise to the challenge" in their eyes because they have made it a hostile, unsafe environment to do so, or that issues like sexism make it impossible for people to tackle problems.

    - "Misaligned" is a word thrown around by leadership to easily fire people, which really just translates to: "They hurt my fragile ego and I have more power than them so I'll abuse it right now."

    - Diversity is not taken seriously. There is a diversity initiative, but the truth is leadership is not empathetic of diversity and doesn't fully internalize the positives of hiring minorities. They fall into the misguided attitudes of, "More minorities should just apply" without, again, recognizing that maybe minorities don't want to for good reason.

    - If you're a woman who is looking to succeed, you're expected to act like a type-A man yet you cannot be TOO loud. The line is extremely fuzzy, so it's easier to err on the side of a female "yes man." It was commonplace to find that feedback included gender-based slurs for women, but not for men.

    - An open feedback culture is encouraged but you cannot give negative feedback to certain people or you will be shown the door. They will ignore the fact that the negative feedback you give is actually constructive and intending to improve the company, but you will be painted as a negative person yourself. It's a very simple, easy defense tactic from higher-ups, and it's employed frequently. Fragile egos, again. Witch hunts are common. Prepare to be called "difficult to work with" if you give constructive feedback to the wrong people.

    - It takes forever to get anything done. Trust is not widely available and there are too many stakeholders at any given point, so don't expect to come out of this job with a resume with tangible deliverables.

    - You'll be brainwashed to ignore all of these issues. If you can give into that, I envy you to a small degree.

    Advice to Management

    You hired too many bad seeds too high up and transformed the company to be an ego-filled, land-grabbing, political environment. It's been suggested many times that you need to re-evaluate your senior leadership yet there hasn't been any significant change in the past four or five years. I will suggest it again.

    Get rid of meritocracy-speech because it blatantly isn't true. It would be one thing if Riot recognized it was a political battlefield and accepted it, but telling Rioters that there's an open feedback culture when there clearly isn't is disingenuous and sets people up to fail. You bring in all of these people who believe in the Riot vision but it's quickly apparent that it's just a facade.

    My biggest confusion that I'd like to see resolved: what do you want to be? Do you actually want to have a healthy culture and a safe environment? Do you want people to treat this as more than a job? Because from what I've seen, those who try to change Riot for the better, those who have poured their true hearts and souls into this company and its people, are the ones punished. For years now the easiest things to act on (for example, removing politicians and doing some deep introspection at a high level) have been ignored and it seems like Riot enjoys being a ruthless, mental health-draining place under the guise of meritocracy.

    Take feedback seriously. Challenge yourself to be better. There are too many people at Riot who are scared of doing and saying the right thing because their paycheck-to-paycheck life is on the line and now they're held hostage. Riot has so much power and resources; you could truly be the best place in the world to work if you just got a little uncomfortable and vulnerable. But I guess those Fortune articles are enough to let you sleep at night.

    Riot Games Response

    Mar 17, 2017 – Manager of Diversity & Inclusion

    Hey there, I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. I lead Diversity and Inclusion at Riot and I’m also part of a new team that shapes and reinforces our company culture... More


  4. Helpful (18)

    "Fun If You're A Gamer, Not Fun If Seeking a Technical Challenge"

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

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

    Pros

    The culture is exactly what you would expect from a gaming start up. The campus and open office is great. Food?

    Cons

    Too much favoritism and middle management distrusts technologies that have been proven to work. There are too many young/first time hires who need to quickly learn how to act professionally, treat the campus like an actual office and need to get rid of that entitlement mentality.

    Advice to Management

    Management needs to trust the people they hire to actually do their jobs.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Very great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - 3D Animator in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - 3D Animator in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Some of the great thing about this company is that there are no hidden rules that I have found with other companies (i.e. Ubisoft). I have worked in AAA titles ever since I started my Animating career five years ago so I know this is a great place to work. I enjoy the other people that I work with as they know what they are doing and I don't have to watch over them 24/7.

    Cons

    Some of the rules they have in place don't really make any sense. The senior level management don't really want to hear your opinion on something, because their way is the best way.

    Advice to Management

    Take a look at some of the new people you bring in along with some of your senior level management.


  6. Helpful (16)

    "Not the place for a professional challenge"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    -Free snacks
    -Open PTO
    -Nice campus
    -Advanced screening of movies
    -Play as many games of League you want during the day

    Cons

    -Poor leadership
    -No real challenges
    -Limited product line creating inability to deliver truly scalable solutions
    - Again, bad leadership
    -The company cares more about screening for the willingness to become a cult member than they do about hiring people that can get the job done.
    -No vision
    -Recruiting sucks (but that's because management tells them to suck)
    -They have an F rating with the BBB. None of their competitors are below a B+

    Advice to Management

    Pretty much every negative review is accurate or has a lot that I can't disagree with. Riot cares more about if you play video games and will do what they say and when they say it than if you're good at your job. The level of mediocrity there is pretty outstanding.

    The engineering teams are a train wreck. Most of the staff is trying to leave, but can't get hired anywhere. The only team that has their stuff together and would be worth joining is Art. Everyone else will stagnate your career.

    Audit your managers and leadership. About 40% of them are holding you back from being on the on tier 1 with companies like EA, Activision, Valve and Blizzard.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Operation Manager"

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

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

    Pros

    Great work environment. Great culture

    Cons

    Location. LA traffic and living quality

  8. Helpful (4)

    "The Company I Always Hoped I'd Find"

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

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

    Pros

    Coming from big corporate, this was a huge breath of fresh air. The company is still young enough to be nimble, but big enough to put resources towards what it wants to accomplish. I feel comfortable being myself, and the people here all have something to nerd out about, even if it isn't always games. The dress code is casual, but everyone is super passionate. It has opportunity to make new things, and carve out your own mark. The campus is amazing. The meal plan has helped me be healthier than I've ever been (even though the pizza makes me want to choose otherwise), and I couldn't imagine any other way to bond with my coworkers than using our awesome computer and peripherals to battle it out on any number of different games.

    Cons

    I struggle to pull myself away from work sometimes. There's never a shortage of things to do, or cool things to work on. My boss and peers are supportive of me taking time off, but you have to be willing to set up your own limits..

    Advice to Management

    Don't let the allure of all the things distract you from what you really want to accomplish. Just because something isn't made a priority now, doesn't mean that its any less important long-term.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Amazing workplace, but at a cost"

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

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

    Pros

    The culture and workplace is amazing. If you want to work with the best and the brightest of the industry, this is the place to be. As long as you give your work 100%, Riot will give back to you, and be completely understanding if you need to work from home or need time for your family. Always looking to do right by their players and products.

    Cons

    If you strive for efficiency, this isn't the place for you. The growing pains combined with lack of long term, or often even short term vision means there is a LOT of wasted output. If you get stuck on one of these "wasted" projects, you will be pretty miserable.

    Advice to Management

    Leadership needs to have a tighter hold of what projects are green lit, and how much time and resources are devoted to them. Focus on the top priorities, and give those the resources they need to succeed.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "The Last Job you'll ever want"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Narrative Writer in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Narrative Writer in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Leader in the Industry. Growing all the time. Inspiring workplace and colleagues. Great Benefits and resources. Imagine working at Disney in the early days, with all the potential stories yet to be told-- that's what working at Riot Games feels like. The sky is the limit.

    Cons

    Although Denewb is a great onboarding tool, there are areas the transition from Candidate to full time employee could work on. More concisely, there seems to be a lag in hand-off from the Talent Acquisition department to the contract department and communication seemed to be sporadic between, "we want you to be a Rioter." and the actual offer.

    Advice to Management

    More communication with candidate from Riot to the candidate through the background check, and other final checks before coming into Denewb. I didn't give notice to my former employer until the offer was signed and delivered and there was little communication during this time.


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