Riot Games Reviews | Glassdoor

Riot Games Reviews

Updated May 22, 2017
338 reviews

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Riot Games CEO Brandon Beck
Brandon Beck
275 Ratings

338 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 16 reviews)

Cons
  • Work-life balance can be tricky if you aren't already used to actively managing it (in 51 reviews)

  • Like most successful companies that scaled very fast, there seems to be some growing pains in terms of org / reporting structure (in 20 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (30)

    "This company ruined my life"

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

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

    Pros

    A lot of amazing people work here

    Cons

    Corruption everywhere. People being put into high level positions they don't deserve. No trust, people are quick to throw you under the bus to get ahead. Worst part - slander to future employers.

    They also like doing all these cutesy things like bringing in food and treats..to try and have you forget that you just worked 70+ hours in a week.


  2. Helpful (33)

    "It was Great... Until It Wasn't"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Esprit de corps is high, with lots of enthusiastic and hard-working co-workers. The employees are creative and intelligent, and the overall atmosphere is very pleasant... at least on the surface.

    The gaming industry's notorious sexism didn't seem to be in effect; female employees were treated with respect and appeared to have ample opportunity for advancement.

    Cons

    * Bait and switch employment. When I was first hired, I received a lengthy song and dance about how Riot was different than other game companies. They claimed they respected work-life balance and that, while crunch times did happen, normal employment hours averaged 40-50 hours a week. This was a flat-out lie; 80-100 hour weeks were expected. Long work hours are forgivable; deceiving people about them isn't.

    * Poor work-life balance. Along those lines, a number of the company's smaller "perks" disguise their desire to have you live, eat and breathe Riot all the time. They offer subsidized dinners when you work late (which is often), plan vacations and trips to the movies as part of company outings, and otherwise monopolize as much time as possible. If you're young, single and devoted to work, this can be a good fit. If you're in a relationship or like doing anything outside of the office, stay away.

    * Bad management. Management seems to have little idea about how to handle employees, and tactics shift almost day to day. What's expected of you on Monday may be 180 degrees different on Tuesday, then back to the beginning on Wednesday. Meetings take up a huge portion of the work day, with little or no practical impact coming out of them. Some people seem to spend all their time preparing PowerPoint presentations about what they do instead of getting down to the business of doing it. Resources are poorly spent, and an overall lack of leadership pervades. In many cases, managers were perfectly happy to lie about employees under them rather than take responsibility for mistakes they themselves had made.

    * Arrogance, bordering on narcissism. Riot encourages "go-getters" and "leaders," which often translates to people who put their own ambitions in front of the greater good. Internecine politicking is rampant, and employees are often tossed under the bus based on agendas that have nothing to do with the company's business or product. There's a lot of back-biting and factionalism... though less in the rank-and-file workers than in middle management and above. Riot tries to bill itself as "anti-corporate," but its overall culture is corporate in the extreme.
    Furthermore, a general egotism pervades among all levels of employment. The company seems to feel that a hit game gives them license to treat others with contempt or dismissal, which cuts them off from a lot of potentially beneficial people and ideas. A general fraternity atmosphere occasionally turns into the actively cruel. For instance, a company party was held on St. Patrick's Day 2012, featuring little people dressed up as leprechauns. The "performers" hid their faces behind ski masks that clearly weren't a part of their costumes, to save them embarrassment and humiliation. It made for an awkward and unpleasant event, compounded by senior management's seeming obliviousness to the issue.

    *Lack of product diversity. Everyone there loves League of Legends, and obviously the game is doing quite well. But there were no signs of trying to diversify beyond that core product, or do more than expand it as far as it can go. They'll be fine as long as sales remain high, but should the market change, this company doesn't appear to have a contingency plan in place.

    Advice to Management

    Let your employees know what's expended of them and stand by those expectations. Foster an atmosphere of clarity and transparency, and punish those who pursue their own agendas at the expense of the company's. Work harder to balance the "fun" nature of the product with a more adult business sensibilities, and get past surface impressions to understand the true nature of the company culture you're creating.


  3. Helpful (42)

    "A polished display of smoke and mirrors which conceals some deeply concerning bullying, cliques and cult like behavior."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in Santa Monica, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Nice offices at Riot, they look after staff in a financial sense; as in you get food and free tickets and goodies. Riot drives its perks directly towards fulfilling its goal to keep Rioters in the office as much and as long as possible.

    I read another review, one of the real ones; where someone said it perfectly: I'll quote them, because I cannot possibly rephrase it more eloquently than when they said:

    "There are some nice people at Riot, some of whom will kindly show you the door if you're not a good culture fit."

    Cons

    There's quite a few:
    For example, given that the most senior leadership tout how open an office environment and how flat a structure Riot Games has, they sure spend a vast amount of time in their dedicated conference rooms (read huge offices) behind their usual desks. I can't really speak for what it's like in there with them, because I was never one of the chosen few cliquey people who surround them.

    Hypocracy is rife, lies are more so. It's hugely corporate while claiming that it is quite the opposite. It claims transparency while having corporate communications locking down any negativity which could get into the public eye. I've seen the mails where senior staff/leadership are "Strongly encouraged to get those who will speak positively of the company." to post reviews, particularly if negative reviews have been posted so as to discredit them.

    Assuming you are cool enough with the bro-fisting elitism, vicious cliques and frathouse-like environment, you will also most likely be able to ingratiate yourself with those in the leadership and find a way into one of the bizarre 'circles of trust' which many of the leaders here appear to hold dear. Failure is not tolerated in any manner, unless you're favored - in which case you're all good, man.

    Don't expect clear targets/goals or expectations from your manager, that's not cool enough for Rioters, this means you have to hope you're in that circle of trust and use your divining rod to work out if you're on track, but if you're not - Riot is proud of moving people on, so don't expect to have an opportunity to address your issues. Communication from Managers, some more than others is exceptionally limited, so that's another consideration. Reviews, guidance, coaching...mentoring....yeah, no. Not going to happen.

    Expect to be brain-washed, you'll get more random Riot merchandise than you can shake anyone's stick at. Which is great if you like that kind of thing. You'll probably be marked down as a non-believer though if you're not seen wearing that Riot gear regularly, or not playing League of Legends as though it was the air you breathe, or working 60+ hour weeks...I'll save you the rest of the list. It's long...

    If you're a drooling frothy fanatic for all things League of Legends who sleeps with a Teemo doll at night and wakes every morning to your Lulu toothbrush and re-runs of LoL E-Sports, you will probably enjoy the cult that is Riot Games regardless of all of the above. If not, it all depends on your tolerance for poison.

    Advice to Management

    Open your eyes to the many 'trusted' people around you and ask if they are actually doing the right thing. Realize you are setting an example to the leaders who follow you when you exhibit astonishing favoritism and unprofessional behavior. Don't be so proud of who you get rid of, because many of those decisions were wrong. You've also retained some of the bad guys.


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  5. Helpful (21)

    "Love the cult or leave!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Location in Santa Monica, vicinity to nice lunch spots, hype about the co. that turned out to be yes, just hype, and those who recruited me look like liars

    Cons

    Cultural fit seems to be more important than skills or experience. They outright threaten you that you will better adjust or otherwise be shown the door before you know it. Crazy as they really have no idea who they are or what their culture is. No leadership, immaturity, arrogance, and the strangest approach to culture which only leaves new employees like me in fear. Growing pains and inability to keep talent at this point as they do not know how to allow employees to be themselves and there is no understanding of work-life balance. Love this cult or leave! I hear some also complain about bullying practices by management and experienced it first-hand. Worst company ever and it makes me wonder who is writing the positive reviews? The current recruiting team!

    Advice to Management

    Treat your people well and know that only that is a culture that is sustainable. Everyone is going to get tired of being treated like a child and yes, I said, sick of playing your game. It is good people that make a good company and not just a product. So get off your horse if you want to stay in business.


  6. Helpful (23)

    "A people mill that will leave you sad"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Desktop Analyst in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Desktop Analyst in Santa Monica, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    When you start at Riot you'll be in a large batch of new hires and undergo indoctrination and testing (Denewbification) for over a week. Prepare "a vulnerability" to share with the group, watch the parade of people, and watch what you say. Enjoy the pampering, because once you remove your Teemo hat, you get to meet the people that really work at Riot.

    Cons

    You will learn what's missing from their Cultural Statement, and you will see the true company values by who is retained. You will also understand why you started with a large group, and why there is a new large group every 2 weeks.

    Eventually you won't see people from your "class", and you'll notice more tenured colleagues missing. One day you'll be asked to walk with your boss, straight into a conference room where for the first time, you won't hear the hip bro-talk.

    Finally, you're escorted to the street with your box of personal effects they packed while you were attending your final Riot meeting.

    Advice to Management

    Management doesn't take advice, or feedback.

    Riot Games Response

    Jul 23, 2014 – Director of Communications

    Hi, Thanks for sharing your candid thoughts -- we really mean that. As hard as it is for us to hear some of this, it's important that we stay in touch with the ways that we need to get better ... More


  7. Helpful (24)

    "Culture of Open Feedback is bogus."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Player Focused! Riot is #1 at this.
    - The Riot Social scene is awesome.
    - You're never alone unless you want to be.
    - Their benefits are are unrivaled.
    - Riot Manifesto - good idea.

    Cons

    - Riot Manifesto - poor execution.
    - There is extreme attrition for "open feedback" and career growth discussions with manager.
    - Extreme harassment and discriminatory language are the norm in some teams.
    - There is a lack of trust throughout the organization to protect people who are coming forward to Talent (HR) with the attrition issues.
    - Clear nepotism and favoritism in regional discipline of the organization causes a lot of morale issues.
    - Manager will regularly take credit for successes while deflecting their own failures onto new employees.

    Advice to Management

    - Hold senior leaders accountable for failures and non-Rioteous behavior.
    - Zero tolerance for harassment from a manager. A Rioter should feel safe coming forward to Talent (HR)
    - Take care of Rioters not just candidates. There's a reason why they were hired, don't let them go so easily.
    - Put checks and balances in place for managers to be accepting of feedback.
    - Zero tolerance for retaliation, nepotism and favoritism.
    - Managers who play too many games during the work hours yet penalizes others for less game time.
    - If there is a toxic environment Talent (HR) should have veto power to help transition a person to a new role not manager.

    as another Rioter stated "If Riot is truly a meritocracy, than likability should never supercede performance. Ever."

    Riot Games Response

    Jul 27, 2015 – Brand Manager

    Hi, and thank you for sharing your thoughts. The Riot Manifesto is something we believe in deeply, which is why we invest and share stories that make the values real. We know that there’s many areas ... More


  8. Helpful (30)

    "Passionate Employees Carry Leadership on their Backs"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Santa Monica, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    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.

    Advice to Management

    Clean house in the leadership. Townhalls and AMAs != effective communication down the ranks.

    Actually prioritize work and reduce the # of teams to create a cohesive patch experience. Every team is spread so thin you have a lot of heroics for individual shining stars rather than creating a constellation. DoTA2 is fast on your heals...


  9. Helpful (34)

    "Terrible Management - No Opportunity - Dreams Destroyed"

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

    Pros

    League of Legends is a cool product to work on

    Cons

    Rampant bullying and harassment:

    - Bullies hired and kept on teams, and allowed to harass good talented workers constantly, causing turnover and lost careers

    - Harassment denied and blamed on the victim because the manager is also a bully

    - Very low morale and trust levels that destroys learning, communication and teamwork because of toxic work environment caused by harassment, immaturity and disrespect

    - Bad team players (bullies) being unfairly favored and good talented respectful team players being disrespected, unappreciated and left out

    - A system that breeds "Bully" mentality. To survive is to become a bully or leave.

    Extremely unfair favoritism & egos:

    - Only a select few spoiled people with huge egos get clout or respect for their achievements

    - Most very talented experienced high achieving workers constantly get overlooked and ignored for their hard work and achievements, even when they do better than the "favorite people"

    - Unfair favoritism causing ignored people to overwork themselves for a false assumption that they can be appreciated for their achievements like the "favorite people". It never happens, even when they have done better than the "favorite people"

    - Favored spoiled egotistical workers forcing their way on the rest of the team, stifling the other talented workers, and harming final products and team morale because of their ego

    Very bad management:

    - Inexperienced, immature, lazy managers that blame their team when they, the manager, won't even manage or train the team

    - Managers that expect the team to manage itself even when the manager has not trained them to have the skills to do so

    - Managers that have poor communication and are very disorganized

    - Managers that are not flexible, do not listen to the workers, and have big egos

    - Managers that are condescending and micromanaging of their workers, and do not listen to or utilize the experience, talent and knowledge of the workers.

    - Managers that ruin the morale of the team, because they are bad with people and do not know how to encourage and empower their workers. They instead make workers feel worthless and like they are never good enough.

    - Managers that promote unfair favoritism and unrealistic expectations on the team

    - Managers that are not team players

    Overdone, immature, clique-like, cult-like culture that kills good talented workers:

    - The overbearing culture causes the workers to not be free to be themselves or even human, forcing unrealistic conformity, stifles personal identity, and brainwashes the workers (you are just a number who is undeserving)

    - If you don't perfectly conform to the immature, clique-like, cult-like group, then you will quickly be left out and unappreciated for your hard work, talent and achievements, and even worse, struggle to keep your job

    - Individuality is discouraged, and human needs like appreciation, encouragement, and being listened to, is close to non-existent

    No real opportunities:

    - Constant overworking and extreme effort to over achieve, only to earn little to nothing in the form of promotions or clout over a long period of time, while other "favorite people" constantly get more and more promotions and clout

    - Managers giving unclear guidelines for career development and changing guidelines randomly

    Unequal treatment of women:

    - Women are very outnumbered on all teams, and their unique and needed opinions are constantly overlooked because there are too many males and male opinions

    - Over a long period of time, the female worker is prone to feel like she has to be like a male to fit in and achieve

    - Women remain misunderstood and unappreciated because there are not enough of them

    - Riot swag and gifts are often tailored for males, making them useless for women

    - There is no real equal opportunity help for minority groups like women at riot, other than Riot Dames (but it doesn't help very much)

    Extremely disorganized:

    - a completely disorganized and overdone product feedback system that waists time and energy, exhausts, discourages and over stresses the workers and ruins the products

    - no cubicles or walls between desks. The open floor plan causes even more stress, disorganization, and lack of productivity

    - extreme disorganization causing never ending problems that cause more problems, and nothing is ever solved

    - no real style guides or goals for products, causing random changing opinions to ruin products and frustrate teams

    - excessive competition caused by lack of organization that causes constant instability and stress

    Extremely unhealthy levels of Stress:

    - Overbearing culture, feedback system, bullying, unrealistic expectations and disorganization cause excruciating levels of stress, that overflows to the weekends and after work

    - Excessive overworking of new workers, causing extensive overtime for months, causing physical fatigue, sickness and extreme lack of sleep over long periods of time

    - Constant lack of appreciation of talented hard workers causing them to over-stress over unrealistic expectations and unattainable goals

    - Job causing extreme anxiety, stress and depression at almost all times

    Advice to Management

    - Organize the company, the teams, and organize and simplify the feedback system

    - Hire only very experienced management that is very good with people

    - Stop the unfair favoritism

    - End the overbearing culture and allow the workers to be human

    - Stop the immaturity

    - Stop tolerating bullies and harassment

    - Help women to be treated equal on all teams

    - Learn to understand artists and work with their unique needs

    - Stop firing the wrong people and keeping the wrong people

    Riot Games Response

    Nov 13, 2015 – Talent Partner

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, though it's troubling to hear this feedback and not an experience we would want anyone at Riot to have. I hope you would be open to sharing any specifics with me ... More


  10. Helpful (18)

    "UAT Lead Treated like first year tester"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - UAT Manager
    Former Employee - UAT Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Cool company outings, food delivery, moving assistance, playtest mornings, fun dance party bathrooms

    Cons

    Testers are severely under valued due to the demand for these positions, company mentorship for leads to find their strengths and put them in the right position is lacking

    Instead of having coaching was basically let go because of one error that leaked through, manager was lacking management skills cause company grew too fast at the time

    Pay was absolutely disgusting. Took a pay cut with 3 years experience to move to LA to try this out, couldn't stand working 10+ hours a day and getting paid peanuts. You can make more than double this in any other industry

    Advice to Management

    Don't pay a test lead $23 an hour in LA. It's not liveable, and you wont get quality delivered for that price


  11. Helpful (25)

    "Not a nice place to work"

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

    Pros

    Pretty self explanitory pros here. Food and Drinks are free. Gaming environment

    Cons

    Terrible leadership
    Narcissistic
    Nepotism
    Hostile workplace
    Sexism
    Racism
    Transphobia

    Advice to Management

    Bring in new a consulting company to gut old management and take their advice

    Riot Games Response

    Sep 26, 2016 – Talent Partner

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, though it's troubling to hear this feedback. It is important to us that all Rioters have a positive and supportive environment that allows them to focus on ... More


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