Riot Games "no one" Reviews | Glassdoor

Riot Games Employee Reviews about "no one"

Show All Reviews >

13 Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

  1. Helpful (23)

    "A beautiful shell covering a toxic core"

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

    I worked at Riot Games (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Best cafeteria
    -Pays for work trips
    -Does encourage on site socializing
    -Believes in collaboration
    -Very accomdating towards personal needs
    -Always puts the players happiness first

    Cons

    -Very unclear goal and expectations. There will be times you're told you're doing great work, but never be told if its good enough to say.
    -No accountability. Too much time is wasted in meetings and sit downs trying to figure out what happened and no ever attempts to say 'my fault. I screwed up, I'll do better'. Just ways to shift blame and run into more problems.
    -Having an office full of workers who are obsessed as the players is damaging because no one can be counted on to have some professional courtesy and get work done first. So many hours were wasted because someone else was in the middle of a game.
    -Very toxic workplace. Just like the players, coworkers can be rude, pushy, obnoxious, and treat others like thoughtlessly. People behave like jerks and it is encouraged.
    -And all of it is revolving around a near 10 year old mod, nearly everything about the tech is outdated. Engineers and programmers are wasted on using such old tech.
    -Contractors get treated like crap. Managers and leads will not meet with them to help figure out what to do to grow in the company.

    Advice to Management

    I hope everyone that works at Riot gets whatever they can out of it because there's no growth, no excitement. Just a lot of hard work into maintainig a status quo. A status quo that will no longer be good enough when competitors improve on the MOBA scene and you chased away great talent.

    Riot Games Response

    Nov 1, 2016

    I'm sorry to hear that you had a negative experience during your time as a contractor at Riot. I'm Alice Reeb from the Talent Partner team and we're always working to ensure that Riot is a safe and... More


  2. Helpful (37)

    "Day to day is great, beware of long term consequences"

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Riot Games full-time

    Pros

    Player Value: There is a real focus on what people believe provides the most player value. Most work arguments are about how to prioritize immediate player value against long term value and that is amazing to experience.

    Daily work: The day to day work usually feels very meaningful and connected to the player experience on most teams, albeit slow and often inefficient.

    Senior Leadership: Riot senior leadership is very transparent with our high level goals and most of our longer term milestones to get there.

    Growth: There are tons of opportunities for entry level people to advance once or twice if they work hard and take the initiative to solve problems.

    Perks: The perks across the board are truly amazing and include: subsidized food, coffee, reduced cost gym memberships, parking, play fund to buy games, clubs, and open PTO.

    Great cross discipline teams: Some teams are everything good you have ever read about Riot. They exemplify all of Riot's values.

    Cons

    I'll start off by echoing everything mentioned in Feb 22nd's review
    "A great place to learn the ropes, but run for the hills if you’re in a leadership role"".
    This includes Senior Leadership with an emphasis on cronyism, rocking the boat is viewed as being misaligned, senior leadership being misaligned with everyone else, poor compensation, and optimized for extroverts are all real and ongoing problems and sadly have gotten worse over the past year or two. I could go on about each of them, but several reviews already do so.

    Expanding on the above, a few point's not called out.

    Entitlement: Entitlement has gone up significantly at Riot and is often found in those with the least reason to feel entitled. The number of people who waste time and have roles where they are accountable to no one has increased significantly since the start of 2015. Work quality and output that was mediocre in 2013 is now the norm. Play games 2-3 hours a day? Not a problem on some teams.

    Compensation: Perhaps one reason a large amount of the company feels so entitled is the pay at Riot is about 20-35% less than competitors in west LA, if you are below senior leadership level. Your ability to negotiate pay raises is extraordinarily difficult. It is seen as un-riotous to ask for more money and senior leadership often stonewalls monetary requests. What makes this so much worse than it appears at first glance is the number of senior people who are compensated very well for the work they did years ago and now coast by making so very much more than the rest of us while doing less work.

    Perks: Many perks which people took for granted years ago are dwindling or gone. These lost perks include: WeRiot yearly vacation, unlocked game account, equity in the company, ability to negotiate compensation packages, trips to conferences or events like PAX, and the ability to switch teams to focus on what you are passionate about are all gone or almost gone.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out what it is you want Riot to be. You seem to want it to be the most player focused game company in the world, have a great CDEV department with their work, grow great leaders, hire and retain top tier talent, actively engage with our players, be open to feedback, and default to trust.

    The problem is you don't have to right people to accomplish most of those goals and it's showing. If you want to accomplish those goals figure out who in senior leadership has checked after the Tencent buyout before all the best mid level talent leave for better paying jobs where they really feel valued.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Fantastic place to work if you're a self-starting, motivated individual who is able to self-manage."

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

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

    Pros

    * Incredible perks, from tons of swag and free food to subsidized gym memberships and healthcare benefits. Pay is competitive (in my experience), but I have seen some pay complaints while looking through other reviews, so draw your own conclusions.
    * Player-oriented, global focus means that the company is actively trying to make decisions that positively impact the customer. This is not just lip-service; cost discussions nearly always take a backseat to player concern.
    * Executive leadership make it a point to be accessible and transparent and seem to honestly believe in cultural values.
    * Tons of growth opportunities. Riot hires for people, not positions, so they will help you to heavily invest in your future, even if that's in a different position than the one you hired into. If you can recognize a need on another team and can make a case for why you can fill that need, it's likely that you'll be able to move there.
    * The vast majority of Rioters are A-type personalities who get things done and are not afraid to challenge bad decisions when they see them. However, it is not (in my experience) a particularly cutthroat work environment. Everyone understands that they are on the same team and work fervently to support you when possible. These are hands-down some of the best and brightest coworkers I've ever had.
    * Bottom-up instead of top-down approach to processes means that generally teams do what works for them instead of being handed process mandates from overseers who may be out of the loop.
    * Trying and failing is encouraged and actively de-stigmatized.
    * From a QA perspective, QA is generally seen as valued work and you are treated well. Adoption/acceptance happens quickly on a team if you can prove your worth. Having worked at several other major games companies in the Southern California area, I can tell you firsthand that this is NOT usually the case for the rest of the industry.

    Cons

    * Ambiguous roles can lead to confusion/failure if you require static goals and/or structure to be successful. Be prepared to decide for yourself exactly what you can/will handle, because no one else will decide for you.
    * In that vein, very little standardization of work processes/best practices; each team does what makes sense for them, for better or worse. Be prepared to learn a whole new set of tools and skills if you change teams.
    * Communication between teams can be difficult (but is still encouraged).
    * Most positions require an extremely strong resume and/or quite a bit of work experience to qualify for. Very few truly entry level positions.
    * Bias towards hiring A-type personalities means that unless you are comfortable challenging and actively contributing to a team, you do not belong here. Riot is not a place for wallflowers.
    * Coworkers can be blunt and open conflict is preferred over backstabbing politics. If you cannot easily take criticism or are afraid of conflict, this is not the work environment for you.
    * Living in LA is the worst. Expensive, crowded, noisy, awful traffic, no parking anywhere. Santa Monica is a little better, but unless you're willing to shell out $1500-$3000 a month, don't get any ideas about living there.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to invest in culture training/alignment/meetups. It seems to be working well, even with the insane amount of growth we've been experiencing!

    The level of transparency here is unparalleled and very much appreciated.

    More personal growth/training opportunities to level up would be appreciated - currently there are quite a few for developing soft skills, but relatively few technical classes offered.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "High-performance work environment where passionate noobs have a real chance to prove themselves"

    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
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Riot is an awesome place for people passionate about games and hungry to achieve more in their craft. I came into Riot fresh out of a liberal arts college with a lot of soft skills and much fewer hard skills. I didn't know what I was going to do but I knew I wanted it to be in games. I came into Riot ready to prove myself beyond the skills my resume implied. Over the past two years, I've learned a ton, worked hard, made mistakes and made good connections. As a result, I've steadily taken on new and greater responsibilities and really built a career here at Riot.

    Riot is a place that rewards self-directed type-As who go above and beyond for players fueled by their passion. Although I started in a coordinator role (Riot's entry-level descriptor), I was given the space to take on projects outside of my core responsibilities and meet with senior leaders I admired. This non-hierarchical, open environment is really awesome for those ready and willing to work their butt off for the players. The other perks (dinner when working late, beer during big presentations, parties, offsite trips, lots of swag and internal game tournaments) only deepen my desire to spend time at the office.

    Our open and trusting culture that we love requires us to hire new Rioters with great vigilance; "with great freedom comes great responsibility." This means that most of the time, I'm surrounded by some of the brightest, most passionate people I've ever met. I never feel like the smartest one in the room and I like it that way. This place is energizing for those who thrive in fast-paced environments where ambiguity abounds.

    Cons

    Both of these cons are basically just the dark sides of the pros I mention above. First, we're in our adolescence; as a company, we're still trying to figure out who we want to be. We're a young company with ambitious goals and a ton of opinions about how to get there. That means there are ton of loud passionate voices speaking at once and it can be hard to get a word in edge-wise. I feel like it's a struggle to get people to focus on one thing because there are so many other sexier, shinier things to look at. To Riot's credit, they provide a lot of opportunities for Rioters to talk to management about big issues but on the smaller scale, we still tend to listen to those who exude the alpha-male vibe.

    Additionally, Riot being an awesome place to work also means that people never really want to leave. Work/life balance is really tough when it feels like everyone around you is sprinting all the time. No one is telling you to work late or on weekends, but it's easy to fall into that. I often feel guilty leaving at 7 or getting in after 10 for personal appointments. A lot of that is on me but Riot really leaves work-life balance up to the individual which makes the work-life balance battle feel like a "every man for themselves" kind of fight.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the culture strong but don't ignore the necessary infrastructure that growth necessitates. Continue talent development programs. Focus on hiring for diversity. Provide a clearer internal mobility plan instead of always hiring externally. Promote more discussions around work/life balance. Continue forums that allow everyone's voice to be heard.


  5. Helpful (5)

    "Challenging and rewarding, This is a great place to work alongside some incredibly intelligent people."

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

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

    Pros

    Riot is a great place to work -- I've worked for many big companies around St. Louis, and if you're looking for a great place to grow, learn and have fun Riot is it.

    * Culture.
    * Gaming.
    * Free Lunches.
    * Flexible Schedules
    * Great Pay/Benefits
    * Location

    The Gaming industry has a stigma of pushing people to work long hours... but I've been here over a year and never had any of that pressure. Most people work typical 9-5ish schedules and everyone here seems to have a great work/life balance. People that do decide to work late do so because they are excited about what they are making progress on -- not because they are expected to.

    Cons

    This isn't really a con... but if it reads like one to you, then this might not be the place for you...

    * You need to be highly motivated and willing to self-start / learn on the job. Things move very fast at Riot, and you need to be passionate about doing great work and finding ways to add value to the company. No one is going to tell you how to do your job (usually). You'll be expected to find ways to be productive and make awesome happen without always being told how.

    * You'll need to do some travelling to California a few times a year. Everyone is flexible with dates and you can skip out on some travel if you have conflicts -- but it is to your benefit to travel to HQ when you can.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Commitment to Players, Core Values, and Continuous Improvement"

    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
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Riot has some of the smartest people I've worked with in games and tech who are also humble, unassuming and genuinely aligned around a common goal of making great experiences for gamers around the world. Culture supports learning and growth mindset and continuous improvement of people, processes, and products.

    Cons

    We all seek to do as much as we can to make amazing experiences for our players but we sometimes don't balance our our commitments well which results in high pressure to hit dates and quality levels. No one here wants to let players down so it puts pressure on all of us to effectively manage our time and vocalize when expectations are unsustainable and will reduce the value to players.

    Advice to Management

    Own the challenges we collectively face and continue to shine a light on the problems highlighted in the various "Advice to Management" sections. There is solid value in that feedback. Continue to be open and honest about how we can work together to solve our biggest challenges.


  7. Helpful (44)

    "Enjoy the honeymoon..."

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

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

    Pros

    TLDR:
    You are surrounded by very talented people, many of which really care about our players.
    The core values of the company are truly awesome.
    Flexible Time off is great, use it.
    The regional autonomy model can be very empowering.
    Great if you are a single guy in your 20s

    Breakdown:
    Riot can be one of the best places you ever work at. Make sure you quickly understand which core values the company is living versus ones they are aspiring to (A.k.a. they are very hit or miss on) and you won't be let down. If you are working on something of high value and focus viciously on it, you will succeed. If you succeed, promote it internally through Taste-the-Riot and Show &Tell and you will be given more opportunities to do so.

    There are many amazing opportunities to learn from the best talent in the industry and if you have a role which touches the game you will feel part of delivering a great game to a passionate player base which idolizes you for the most part. It can feel really great to see how much appreciation players have for your work all over the world. If you care about making players delighted, this is the right place for you.

    Some of the benefits are great. Use them as much as you can since they are a pretty big part of your compensation. Riot is very strategic with its perks, but if you are single and in your 20s you can really capitalize on a gig from Riot. Participate in all the social clubs, spend time at the office or with your office pals, learn Kickboxing, do Yoga, learn to swing dance, go our drinking, go to the gym, etc etc etc.

    Some departments and regional teams have true autonomy. If you are in one of these places, capitalize on this and leverage your creativity and talent to make incredible things happen. The budget is more of a guideline anyway so just make sure that enough player value is delivered and you are golden. If you are not in one of these places find a way to get in with one of the decision makers (your colleagues can tell you easily who those are). Be sure to also find out which groups require you to work unacceptable hours and just avoid them unless you are a masochist.

    Cons

    TLDR:
    Like with Amazon.com, if you want the truth, look over the negative reviews and filter for common sense
    Clear nepotism and favoritism at the highest levels of the org causes a lot of morale issues
    Barracks-like harassment and discriminatory language are the norm in some groups
    Snake pits are cleverly disguised as blueberry bushes, trust no one
    Relationships are way more important than intelligence / aptitude.
    If you are looking for feedback, coaching or mentor-ship beyond entry level, wrong place for you
    Compensation for some roles is abysmal for the cost of living in Santa Monica

    Breakdown:
    Riot solicits reviews from people frequently for this site. given that your first 3 months are a great period of glee and high-fives and that they are hiring like mad, not surprised by the positive skew. The honeymoon is great in many ways, however I would suggest looking over all the negatives, this is where you can get to the meat of what the issues are. Some may not bother you or affect you, in which case Riot is perfect!

    Whether the place tries to be a meritocracy or not, having a sibling run part of your company is going to cause issues, especially when he is abrasive and unable to show anyone else who is not on the Board any professional courtesy. To make matters worse you have rude and incompetent people being rewarded and allowed to fail repeatedly while other teams have to re-explain the reasoning behind projects over and over after a proven record of success. All this leads to spotty morale for people who are passed the aforementioned "honeymoon" stage.

    If you have sensitivity to bro-ish behavior, crude jokes about gender, ethnicity, age and trolly harassment you should avoid Riot. These are part of the culture in most of the teams except data science and art.

    The organization has many people who will smile to your face and then stab you in the back when it will bring them even a slight bit of advancement. This is not a problem if you are fiercely competitive and assume this going in, however if you are not a fan of this kind of environment it can be very disheartening, especially in a culture priding itself on transparency and feedback sharing as well as friendliness.

    Figure out who the key people are, build relationships with them and make them feel that you are indispensable for their success. This will pay you way more dividends than competence or aptitude. Granted, relationship management is a key part of succeeding at a job, the skew however for Riot is far more towards relationships and popularity with the right clique.

    Finally, if you are single and willing to room with others or if you are hired as a senior leadership you may be able to afford living in the area. Outside this make sure you are not captured by the glitz and glamour of the local entertainment or you will be in debt in no time.

    Advice to Management

    Nepotism is an issue people are afraid to bring to your attention. You should probably look into that.
    Racism, Sexism and Harassment are not solved via a 3 hour class. Ticking time bomb.
    Check up on our "Feedback Culture". Demand to see what communications have happened. Put checks and balances in place. When most of your departures are surprised at the news, it should give you some clues. "Self-awareness" is not a justification for lack of direct performance communication.
    For the love of god fix the central-local model.

    You should probably be more open about projects in the works with people internally. Siloed teams and having your badge not open certain doors can make your promises of transparency and trust sound pretty hollow.
    Bring in leadership which understands how a company of your current size is run. You started to do so which is encouraging. Consider which senior leaders are doing more harm than good. If you are honest with yourselves they should stick out fairly prominently.

  8. Helpful (6)

    "Culture, culture, culture"

    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
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Riot is a great place to work if you have effective time management skills, are able to self-direct well, and have that "entrepreneurial spirit" that a lot of tech companies look for. There is a lot of autonomy when it comes to your job, and if you like that, and are good at it, then you will succeed. Culture is key at Riot, and if you "fit in" with their mindset, you will have an amazing opportunity to impact the organization no matter what position you hold. Management is always willing to listen to your feedback and in fact, encourages you to speak-up when you feel something is going in the wrong direction, or needs improvement. This is not a place where you can do the minimum and just skirt by; this is a high-performance, demanding, but fun place to work. They do have really high expectations, and if you cannot fulfill those expectations, then you will not succeed there.

    Everyone thinks that they have what it takes to work in an environment like this, which in theory sounds amazing (who wouldn't want to have control over what they do every day?), but in practice is a lot more difficult than it sounds. Some people are more successful being told what to do every day (soldiers), while others want to be in charge (leaders). It really takes a leadership mindset to be successful at Riot imo. It's like a sports team, they look for "all-stars," and cut the ones that don't perform at that level. Passion (for your job, the company and the game), determination (no constraints), and a high-level of accountability are some of the key attributes they look for in Rioters.

    The benefits and perks are amazing; they say there is work-life balance, but I know many, including myself, who pulled 10-12 hours daily. Not that they have to, but because of the culture that compels them to do so. And that is great at first, because almost everyone around you is doing it, and you build great rapport with your coworkers. But that kind of work style is unsustainable in the long run, and eventually it leads to burnout.

    Important takeaway for those that want to work there: if you don't play the game (League of Legends), you best sign-up and start playing before even thinking about applying for a position. Drink the Riot kool-aide and magical things will happen.

    Cons

    I don't have too many negatives to say about Riot. My time there was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I learned more working there than in any of the positions I've held at any other organization in my 10+ years working as a professional. I work smarter, not harder now, and I owe a lot of that to what I learned from senior management and my coworkers.

    My only negative is the whole work-life balance issue. Working ridiculous hours is something that you impose on yourself though, no one makes you do it. So make sure you're working efficiently in the hours you do clock-in; having effective time-management skills will benefit you in the long run.

    Advice to Management

    Mistakes are going to happen; don't be so hard on your reports when they occur. Help them learn and grow from their mistakes, instead of making them feel like they're going to lose their job if they make even the slightest error. This is not across the board with management, just a few key stakeholders.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "The hardest job you'll ever love."

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

    I have been working at Riot Games as an intern (More than a year)

    Pros

    Essentially everyone at Riot is super passionate. You'll always find yourself in a high energy environment, surrounded by people looking to push you past what you thought your limits are, but also be there to support you whenever you struggle. This makes the company culture extremely positive - which is important given how much time employees spend here.

    Riot prides itself on having a strong 'feedback culture.' In general I think this is a very good thing. It encourages people to be open to constructive criticism and also teaches employees to get better at giving it. Sometimes this means that a project will take much longer to complete than it has to, but this almost always results in a better product. It also opens up very wide channels of communication between employees, managers, coworkers, and senior management.

    The compensation and benefits, as well as the sense of appreciation for employees has been extremely satisfying to me. Along with the great feeling that comes with creating a better game for players, there is a lot of internal recognition and encouragement.

    As an intern, I have felt as though I've been given responsibilities on par with my coworkers in my first summer, and projects in line with my experience (more difficulty/responsibility) during my second summer. I feel very connected and valued by my team, who have been continuously invested in my growth both personally and professionally.

    Overall, I think that if the corporate culture fits your personality style and you absolutely love League of Legends or creating the best possible player experience, then this is the absolute best place to work. It's often a demanding job, but it more than repays what you put into it with a rewarding career.

    Cons

    This job will definitely take up more of your time than is average, but if you truly love what you're doing it will be worth it and you'll want to stay. There is often encouragement to try to improve home-work balance but often it isn't adhered to because of how much work is going on. There's no one who is making you stay, but there is definitely pressure to do so given that it's the norm.

    Advice to Management

    Many times, careers at Riot are self-dictated from the beginning. Especially in busier and bigger departments, managers aren't going to hold your hand and figure out what exactly you should be doing. It requires a lot of flexibility and is very good for self-starters - but this isn't everyone. I think some people fall a bit to the wayside and aren't given enough direction.


  10. Helpful (34)

    "A siren song hides rocks ahead"

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexible schedule
    The hours are flexible, which is awesome. No one is actively babysitting you (unlike much of the corporate world these days). Feel free to shuffle your hours around as long as you make all of your (MANY) meetings, which in practice puts a damper on that flexibility. Better stay a couple hours late, so you have time to actually do the work we talked about in all those meetings.

    Your work can touch a massive audience
    That is, if it's in the 5-10% of things we do that actually see the light of day. Most projects are a complete mess and get rebooted constantly. It's demoralizing when players complain about needing feature or product X that we've been working on for years, but will probably never ship due to internal politics. Some Riot time might look good on a resume because of our reach, but don't plan on Riot being good for your portfolio, or your confidence.

    Play League of Legends at work
    You should, because you'll need some kind of stress relief from the insanity, if you can squeeze a game in between meetings. Again, super cool benefit but kind of hampered by the reality of Riot life. The other double-edged sword is that people get really loud when they play. If your work schedule doesn't match up to your neighbors' prepare for constant distraction as they shout profanities at each other across the room.

    Lots of free food
    Remember the freshman 15? Try the Riot 20! This is how Riot shows it's love. Catered meetings and presentations, late night dinner subsidies, adult beverages at company wide events. It's really nice for the first few months. The numerous college-aged kids at Riot get excited about it a lot longer, but it's appeal can only last so long.

    Benefits
    This is one of the few areas where Riot shines. Primarily because it is easy to throw a chunk of money at the people team and there's not a lot of politics involved. If your SO doesn't have their own coverage, Riot will subsidize them as if they are an employee, which is a very nice gesture and is probably very useful to some Rioters. 401k match is decent too.

    Cons

    Ineffective leadership
    Titles don't matter, except when they do. What passes for autonomy here is a lot of theoretical talk about possible directions we can go among the masses at Riot, but the actual decisions are all still made in closed door meetings between product owners and top leaders. Once teams observe this effect, they tend to flail around trying to please the leadership. There's a real sense that no one at the top really understands which of our early decisions caused our success and which were the decisions we succeeded in spite of, so many of our leaders are afraid to make the kind of bold decisions we need to raise quality to where we want it. Painful conversations often just get kicked down the road, so we trudge on with the status quo. Many mid to upper level managers are inexperienced and/or insensitive, causing pockets of poor morale and patterns of avoidance.

    Our values often ring false
    One example: we use that word humbitious (ambitious but humble). Honestly, I think we are starting to fail at both. There's a lack of urgency in the decision making progress, because it feels like we automatically rake in a fortune no matter what we do, so why rock the boat? The humble part is fading too. There are a lot of alpha types that dominate conversations and leave little room for healthy debate. Nobody is really keeping these people in check, and they are found in many leadership positions.

    We're overly focused on hiring over internal promotion
    The discipline leaders are so focused on desperately hiring as fast as possible, that they aren't nurturing their existing teams properly. If you are currently being wooed by Riot recruiters, enjoy it. It's possibly the last time you will feel like Riot really cares about your growth. There is no clear path to promotion, and it's rare to hear about them. We recently started a regular performance review program, but the reviews don't appear to have any relationship to compensation or title.

    Stagnant compensation
    If you join up you'd better darn well negotiate like a boss, because you're getting stuck with that salary for the long haul. Riot is so obsessed with hiring, that it is ignoring the stagnant compensation of it's existing teams. This a growing powder keg that few are talking about except in frustrated whispers, because leadership has made it clear that we should just do our work out of a passion for our players. It seems the managers below them have interpreted that literally to mean no one should talk about money. Ever. Sure, passion is our primary motivation, but passion only stretches so far when you never get cost of living adjustments or bonuses to prop up dead wages and the office is located in Santa Monica, one of the most expensive areas to live in So. Cal. Mixed messages.

    Advice to Management

    Less is more
    We need to focus our resources on doing fewer things better. A healthy network of communication doesn't happen overnight, so if we just scale blindly, we will have lots of people, but they will waste their talents because our efforts are all over the place.

    Take care of Rioters, not just candidates
    It's getting harder and harder to justify the Riot lifestyle because of location and cost of living. I understand financial incentives will not get better work out of creative people, but it will help them to stay at Riot longer so you can get more out of them. Plus, the work force is aging and more people are starting families. Eventually, it will be clear that Riot is not a healthy place to stay for the long term while trying to provide for a family, and there will be a mass exodus of top talent. I worry that we're on the brink of this very soon if something doesn't happen to prevent it. Basic cost of living increases would be a good start.

    Open door policy is not enough
    You have to actively seek out the pain within the company and solve it. Many Rioters are afraid to tell you the truth because of the concern of retribution from discipline leaders or other managers.

    Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid
    We have a massive audience. No matter what we do, some players will rage against it. We need to have strong conviction in the face of temporary anger that we have done our homework and we are confident we will make things better for the majority of players. If we cater to the small percentage of players that flip out every time we change something, we will not make the changes we need to move ahead.

    We CAN fix this.
    There's so much amazing talent locked up in this organization, I know we have it in us to fix what's broken. Communication is the key. We just have to be more honest with ourselves about what is actually dysfunctional and give more Rioters a voice in company decisions. The constant Riot cheerleaders are drowning out the voices of concern within the company, which is super dangerous. We are critical because we want Riot to reach it's potential, and with a drive to pay more than lip service to our values, it absolutely can.

    Nothing would make me happier than coming back in a year and adding stars to my next review.


Showing 13 of 414 reviews
Reset Filters