- Great people, culture, forward thinking company with a bright future
- Lots of room for growth and great managers
- Fun company, great office space, spectacular benefits
- Usual growing pains of a relatively young, fast growing company
- Constantly re-organizing, leaving senior management not always on the same page
I worked at Riot Games full-time (More than 3 years)
-Advanced screening of movies
-Play as many games of League you want during the day
-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.
-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.
I worked at Riot Games full-time
Free food and snacks
Free Red Bulls
All the game time you can handle
Riot cares more about culture than they do about getting the best skilled to do an amazing job
People stuck in high school mentality
Only the “cool” or “clique” will survive. (real life Mean Girls but with nerdy dudes.)
Mediocrity is valued (although they will pretend they are brilliant)
No diversity and the CEO couldn’t care less about it (look for yourself. You will find maybe 3 female managers in a company of 4,000 and ZERO female leaders)
No vision from leaders
Inexperienced managers leading teams
Even the older aged managers do not have relevant experience, which is really weird
Advice to Management
Riot is an interesting place. I worked at Riot for 3 years before realizing that my career was stifled. It's a great place for the young and fresh out of college who can eat all three meals because they live in Los Angeles and can barely pay their rent. It’s also a great place for people that loved High School and therefore want to keep all of those behaviors of immature people alive. The company cares more about culture than they do about being efficient and launching games. Which goes in line with my previous comment about it being High School. The majority of the individuals there are so immature they don’t realize what they are lacking.
There is a reason that Riot Games has only produced one game in their 10 years of existence. Since the day I started, all I heard was that we had 4, 5 and even 8 games in the making or “greenlit” if you want to be precise. The games they do have in the making are knock offs of Blizzard or other game studios creations. (Come up with something different and your own, Riot!) The lack of new product other than skins or champs could be because no one actually does any work around there? Everyone runs around saying how busy they are but really, they are just late to their next 5x5 game.
Mediocrity at Riot is rewarded. In fact, celebrated. This problem comes from the leadership that just happens to be ALL men. They don’t even want to consider women. The men that are in those roles just sit there and do nothing. I would put money on it that even the Sr. Director of Engineering wouldn’t get past an onsite at one of the top 10 companies out there, yet we had to hear how our technology is “the greatest in the world” and on par with Amazon, Facebook, and Google. Of course, that comment was always followed up with how humble the company is.
If you’re a woman, you’re better suited somewhere else if you care about a career unless you are like the many mild-minded, meek little women that work at Riot, hoping desperately to find their one true rich nerd husband.
If you’re a Senior Engineer or Engineering Manager, don’t waste your time there either. There are mountains of tech debt and garbage code that you’ll be thrown in to clean up before you get to touch any of those sexy “greenlit” games they tell you about.
Riot tries to say that their diversity numbers are the best in the industry, but that is completely false. Riot has a bunch of meek women in admin and coordinator roles but that’s about it. That is not diversity in any way! Plenty of other gaming and tech companies have women leaders. Strong women leaders with a voice and can drive the change Riot so desperately needs, but when the CEO is asked that question, he balks, denies or just plain fires the women that do have the voice to press the issues. Strong women are not honored at Riot Games, period.
Let’s talk about the work you will be doing. You will be told that you’re making an impact, are part of an amazing team, and that hard work really pays off in the end. That what your team is doing is groundbreaking. It’s not, it just simply is not. Instead you will be run around in circles partly because Riot has so many inexperienced kids around you and the other reason is because the leadership and managers just have no idea what the hell they are doing.
Want to know if Riot is a cult? Everyone at Riot will say it's not a cult. For instance, this statement came straight out of multiple leaders mouths, “Riot is more of a Tribe. If the Tribe doesn’t like what you’re doing, we won’t fire you, Instead we will ban you to the outer edges of the Tribe!” That was said, VERBATIM. That sounds like a cult to me.
Riot reminds me of High School. If you’re in with the cool kids, you get opportunities galore, even if you shouldn’t. In fact, that is the case with most teams. Led by inexperienced managers that got to their role by being liked or friends with everyone, rather than actually being skilled at what they do.
Bottom line, Riot is a waste pit for the moderately talented. Engineers that were once incredibly talented and could have chosen to go anywhere prior to joining Riot, can’t even make it through interview loops elsewhere…. But hey, there sure is free food and red bull!!
Advice to management: Learn how to manage. Step down if needed. Learn what you don't know and strive to do better. Also to the Legal team.... you are one crazy person away from a whopping lawsuit in regards to diversity. Telling someone that they are not a fit because of 'culture' is a subjective and discriminatory accusation. I'd think you would know that having a law degree and all.
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I have been working at Riot Games full-time (More than 5 years)
Great work environment. Great culture
Location. LA traffic and living quality
I have been working at Riot Games full-time (More than a year)
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.
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.
I worked at Riot Games full-time (More than a year)
The culture is exactly what you would expect from a gaming start up. The campus and open office is great. Food?
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.
good hours and management, good life balance
None. They are reasonable and accommodating.
Awesome place to work at
The only thing bad is that theres too many options!(not really a bad thing)
Advice to Management
Keep it up
I worked at Riot Games full-time (More than 5 years)
- 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!
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.
I worked at Riot Games full-time
Good place to learn for those very early on in their career
Aspirations and goals that can inspire and motivate people
League of Legends and the gaming community around it has left me with very fond memories and close friendships.
As with many companies on Glassdoor, the negative reviews cut closer to the truth than the positive ones. Here are excerpts from existing reviews that resonate with my experience:
“Riot hasn't done a great job scaling, and a lot of how it does business comes from tribal customs and values from when the company was a lot smaller. Some of these values get skewed and weaponized in unsavory ways.”
“If you strive for efficiency, this isn’t the place for you. If you get stuck on one of these "wasted" projects, you will be pretty miserable.”
“Leadership is often inexperienced and ineffective. Most senior leaders surround themselves with yes-men only and challenging the wrong leader can effectively end your career at Riot.”
“Definitely the worst experiences of my career. Extremely type A people, some people don't practice what they preach and many of those people are in leadership positions.”
“Due to the seemingly infinite budget and lack of accountability, this company breeds complacency.”
“Employees who don’t agree, or truthfully criticize work are flipping a coin on their job”
“Criticisms can get ignored or reasoned away because of the overwhelming success of the company, and instead Rioters will hear that anyone who disagrees either wasn't a "culture fit" or couldn't "align" with the company or couldn't hack it at Riot. It's hard to gauge how detrimental these factors are, because many Rioters seem happy (or comfortable) with how things are. What sucks is that there's a Riot inside the current company that could be everything it wants to be. It could be kicking down doors and shaking things up, but first it needs to have a serious conversation about some of its problems.”
Advice to Management
I will leave you with the following questions:
How realistic is it to say those leaving Riot voluntarily or are let go were truly never culture fits to begin with? Is it possible other insight can be gained?
What challenges has Riot faced in the past that ended up being truly unique to Riot? How often was this belief untrue? How many problems do you currently believe are truly unique to Riot?
Are terms such as "genre defining" and "brand" causing Rioters ignore practical decisions? How are these (and others) themes impacting short term goals? What about long term?
How often does feedback go directly to the individual it is about? How long does it take to get there? Are they the first one presented this feedback? If not how often is it shared with others and what impact does it have?
Does management consist of active of core gamers? Where is this true and where not? What behaviors and trends can be found?
What is the ratio between supporting functions versus individual contributors on a team, discipline, and organization? What traits do you find as this number shifts from one extreme to another?
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