Riot Games "player experience" Reviews | Glassdoor

Riot Games Employee Reviews about "player experience"

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22 Employee Reviews

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  1. 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.


  2. Helpful (5)

    "You can make a difference"

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

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

    Pros

    I signed up to deal with the massive amounts of data that League of Legends collects. So if you are a data nerd you will appreciate:
    - volume and diversity of data
    - access to state of the art tools related to data crunching and analysis
    - the high value placed on how to turn data into a better experience for players

    General pros include
    - relaxed and friendly atmosphere
    - amazing potential for growth in all areas (profession, management, etc)
    - every level of Riot is keen to make both the player experience and employee experience better, and it's genuine.

    Cons

    - LA traffic is terrible.
    - High bar for culture fit is a good thing, but ultimately means sometimes there is more work to do than people available to do it.
    - Slightly family unfriendly (some meetings are scheduled between 5 and 7 pm, which conflicts with your kids schedule). Riot is getting better at this however.

    Advice to Management

    The emphasis on meetings (lots of them) should be better balanced with time needed to get work done. I have seen a few examples of 'too much talk, not enough action'. Awareness is generally there, but stay vigilant!

  3. Helpful (8)

    "Incredible environment, incredible people"

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

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

    Pros

    Riot truly cares about the player experience; it's their #1 focus, and it's clear in everything they do. I love the open feedback culture and work autonomy; it's a great environment for those who are passionate about what they do. One thing that drew me to Riot was the enthusiasm Rioters have for their work; it's amazing to work with such dedicated, passionate people.

    Riot has great amenities for Rioters, too: phenomenal food, spotless bathrooms, convertible standing desks, creative conference rooms, expansive courtyard, and awesome events - more than I'd ever dreamed of asking from a company!

    Cons

    There's a lot of "tribal knowledge" (without thorough or consistent documentation) in the data systems that make it hard for new people to dive in and utilize data effectively.

    Advice to Management

    Don't be so afraid. Fear is crippling your potential. How often can you summarize big business decisions in terms of fear? "We're afraid players will just use sandbox mode for grinding instead of playing with friends," "We're afraid players will think BPR is Game 2," "We're afraid of releasing a game that isn't 'genre-defining' / completely revolutionary," etc. I understand wanting to make sure you're doing the right thing for the players, but don't you suppose that sometimes the hesitance, rooted in fear, subtracts from player experience?


  4. "It was exciting when I started and it hasn't gone away"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Creative Services Manager in Sydney (Australia)
    Current Employee - Creative Services Manager in Sydney (Australia)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I think the best way I can sum up Riot OCE is when I first started here I thought 'Why would you want to work anywhere else?' and 2 years later that hasn't changed.

    When I first walked in we were in a temporary office, there were a handful of employees and I was shown to a desk without a keyboard and told to figure it out. That was my onboarding experience.

    Truth be told I loved it, I was put in a situation where I had to crawl outside my comfort zone and try to figure things out. Riot OCE has gotten better at onboarding since then, there's a multi-day program in an amazing office, games with the team and a new starter BBQ. That said I loved being put in a situation where it was 'here's your desk, go figure it out'.

    Other places I have worked it has always been about here's what you are supposed to be doing, now go do it. Riot has always been about what do you think? What is your take on this? How can we make this better?

    It was exciting when I started and it hasn't gone away. Everywhere else I have ever worked I go through a couple of months of 'new job honeymoon' where everything is exciting and time flies. Then I start to hit the 3-4 month zone and you usually have your role figured out - after 6 months you have it on lockdown and that's when I wouldn't be really challenging anymore and work starts to get procedural.

    That never happens here. The things you work on and the role you have with the company grows as you do. If you want to kick down doors and take on more responsibility you will be given the chance to do so. I would caution to say that if you're looking for a place where you can just be a number on a team then it's not going to work out - it's very much a high performance culture.

    In terms of what's changed from two years ago? I would say that I have grown a lot here. I've never been challenged in a constructive way like I have been here. The team is incredibly smart, driven and united on the purpose of us being here. The mission is not just a corporate slogan on the wall, it's the driving force of every decision we make. It's pretty common to be in a meeting and people collaborate on trying to understand exactly what the best player experience for a particular project means. It can be exhilarating if you are passionate about gaming, if you're not you will find it a challenge.

    I still walk across the Pyrmont bridge going 'wow I get to work at Riot games today'. There's also perks like free food (breakfast on Tues/Thurs, Lunch on Weds), half price gym, free healthcare, great office space, travel, swag, etc, but to me they are icing on the cake. The best review on the perks and the talent (HR) team here is the company will always support you in whatever you are trying to do - you really do get taken care of well.

    But IMO the best reason to work here is the empowerment and trust. Your manager won't be micromanaging you and telling you how to do your work, you'll help shape the goals for your role and then you will own how to go out there and deliver on them.

    Office culture here is a big thing too. Everyone knows each other because we are a tight-knit team, it's also very welcoming to new people and so far everyone that has started here has gotten on with everyone really well.

    There are a lot of social events, Riot organised as well as just put together by people at work. It's pretty common for someone organising anything from a trip to the cricket to a board games night or drinks at the pub to email the whole office or walk the floor asking who is up for it. There is no private little groups here like I experienced at other companies. Everyone gets invited to everything basically and whether you go or not is up to you. Some people don't go for the social activities and that's fine too.

    Cons

    Work/life balance for sure. When I wake up I check my email, just before I go to sleep I check my email. Some people are better at this than others, but I have never bought into the mission of a company so much before so I personally struggle with maintaining a healthy balance.


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Learning to Riot in Sydney"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sydney (Australia)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sydney (Australia)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I have been with Riot in Sydney for under a year. It is great to be with a company where you can be more than your job - part of the whole business, community and experience.

    Players Experience First- this is not just some fad word thrown about by hr with little belief. Every decision, initiative, action riot does is weighed against the value it will add to the player experience - and we are all players.
    The role is bigger than your job- You will do your job and there is the expectation of delivering on it but you will also play lots of games, you will be part of projects not linked to your core role, you will do esports, you will be part of the community, you can have a say and you can be part of everything going on.
    Opportunity to have impact- this is not an office which is just an extension of US HQ where we salute and do what is told. The office is free to make the decision they believe is right for the players. This means in whatever job you have in riot you can have impact- you will collaborate with others in the office and internationally but you make the decision on what is the best way forward.
    We trust you - you are expected to deliver but no one is going to be micro managing you.
    The hiring bar is high and continually rising- you will work with great, passionate, serious, professional people.
    This is not a tech company, this is a gaming company, and yes, we play games at work.

    Cons

    Obviously if you don’t like what I have said above then maybe riot will not suit. You control your role and your path but it is not a 9-5 where you just do your job, you have to want more than that and you have to be flexible and comfortable with change.
    Senior Leadership- we are still a growing office, startup mentality, finding our way, it does mean we are lacking some senior leadership and experience and hiring is carefully done at riot which has created pains as we look for the right people.
    Hiring - recruitment and hiring is painfully slow - be patient, be determined.


  6. "Living the Dream"

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

    Pros

    Riot lives up to the Manifesto on its website.

    1. Player experience first
    2. Challenge convention
    3. Focus on talent and team
    4. Take play seriously
    5. Stay hungry, stay humble

    The evidence of these pillar are seen in the people that work at Riot. It's truly a place that fosters growth.

    Cons

    Because of the desire to produce top-quality results, processes can be slowed to less-than-efficient speeds. This can be frustrating for those used to a faster workflow.

    Advice to Management

    Please continue the company-wide AMAs. This transparency goes a long way when it comes to building a unified culture and message.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Bite sized feedback"

    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 (More than a year)

    Pros

    Rioters culturally aligned. Company motivated to deliver the best player experience possible. Leadership often defaults to trust when it comes to the Rioters that work for them. Vast majority of Rioters embody the Riot manifesto, and are receptive to critical feedback. Involvement on passion projects is encouraged, in supplement to your core responsibilities. Plentiful learning opportunities are a delicious cherry on top.

    Cons

    Initiatives spin up and spin down at breakneck speeds. A handful of teams change names and directions almost monthly. Communication between teams is hit and miss. Some feedback falls into black holes. Hard to know who owns what process. Slow development. Too quick and aggressive in reacting to social/cultural missteps. Too slow and toothless in responding to weak professional performance. Overbearing control around brand perception can make some player-facing roles really unappealing.

    Advice to Management

    Throttle up on strategy, tap the brakes on tactics. A little less chaos can go a long way.

  8. Helpful (6)

    ""Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion""

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    When looking to leave my last job, for about 12 months I explored numerous opportunities at various MNC's and Financial Institutions, always leaving the interviews a bit disheartened by the lack of emphasis that was put on Talent. When I was invited to meet with the guys at Riot, on conducting my pre-interview research, I was delighted to read about the employee focused culture, but I also maintained a healthy portion of skepticism as so many companies talk the talk, but so few walk the walk. I have now been with Riot for 6 months and I am thrilled, amazed and relieved to be part of a company that wholeheartedly practices what it preaches.

    Riot views its Talent (aka Rioters) as its number 1 resource. Aside from the benefits like unlimited holidays, flexible hours, top of the market health plan, free snacks/fruit etc..... for me, it is the empowerment/ownership that Riot offers which demonstrates the true value that is put on staff. You are hired as an expert in your respective discipline, and treated as such. Bizarrely, in today's market this is a rarity (from my experience).

    A talent focused culture creates an environment where people will go the extra mile, not because their boss is telling them to, but because they are incredibly passionate about what they are doing, and embrace the opportunity to transfer their passion to our players. By ensuring that everyone is on the same page when it comes to hiring new talent, and never dropping the bar for the sake of a 'quick fix', an environment has been nurtured where everyone is pulling in the same direction, with the same goal of improving the player experience for everyone that comes into contact with Riot or a Rioter.

    Cons

    * Riot is not for everyone - a culture of true empowerment is extremely satisfying for some, but can be very daunting for others. If you are considering applying to us, have a very honest conversation with yourself as to whether this is something you want
    * Being in a company of hardcore gamers, I always get beaten when playing!
    * Buckets of passion it great, but I can imagine it burning people out if they don't make time for friends, family and health. Riot actively encourages this, but it can be forgotten!
    * The interview process can be very lengthy, but this thoroughness is essential in ensuring we are hiring the right people. Also, as we are smaller in Hong Kong, things can happen a lot quicker!

    Advice to Management

    * Keep doing what you are doing
    * Don't let our rapid growth lead to dropping the bar when it comes to hiring (be it in passion or aptitude)
    * We are a global company in the truest sense to the word. Make sure we are viewed as such both internally and externally


  9. Helpful (13)

    "The Truth About Riot Games"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Player Support Management in Dublin, Co. Dublin (Ireland)
    Current Employee - Player Support Management in Dublin, Co. Dublin (Ireland)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    When I say this is literally the best place I have ever worked, I mean it. This is accounting for a full career in leadership and management roles spanning 20+ years, 10 of which have been in the games industry working for the most recognized names in gaming. Every place I have worked has had a set of "core values", but only 2 of them have ever really shown some belief in those values (Riot being one of them), and only Riot has fully nailed them from aspiration to execution, while truly living those values through their actions, extending to (and especially in) the "customer service" side of the business.

    Below are some bullets of the things that make Riot the top of the list for me:

    Ethos/Culture - What you do proves what you believe. The Riot Manifesto isn't just some catchy words or phrases that a group of execs put together to communicate what they aspire to be as an organization. It isn't pasted around the office on brightly colored posters pontificating how you should behave to be a Rioter. The Manifesto and it's guiding principles are the foundation of every action, decision, and endeavor that Riot undertakes. Each individual is able to articulate how their contribution impacts the player experience, and while the recruitment process is brutal (more on that later), it is designed to identify those that share a deep connection with and belief in those principles.

    Empowerment/Trust - At Riot, you can make mistakes as long as you don't repeat them, and as long as you are learning in the process. I have never in my career in leadership and management roles been so completely empowered. There are no strings attached, and I know that as long as I am accountable and responsible while demonstrating a strong, guided reason for my decisions, I can do pretty much anything. That isn't an exaggeration ... I am trusted to make decisions that impact Riot as a whole, and that trust is as common at Riot as grains of sand on a beach.

    Intellectual Stimulation - I am working with some of the most intelligent people I have ever met, hands down. And I don't mean just smart ... these people are next level. Riot's philosophy on hiring extreme talent with shared ethos and passion has resulted in a work space that is continuously stimulating with healthy, engaging debate, conversation, and work. The bar here is exceptionally high, and because of that you are constantly meeting new people that continue to raise your expectation of what amazing is. Also, I might add, without the pretentious bullsh*t.

    Passion/Engagement - Riot cares, and the people do to. That is because everyone shares that common ethos and a passion, not just for League of Legends and gaming in general, but for achieving excellence and mastery. And if excellence has been achieved, they celebrate it ... then raise the bar again. It is an endless quest for perfection in a group of people that love what they do. Imagine that for a moment, and what it is like to work with those people every day.

    Personal/Professional Growth Opportunities - Leveling up is an integral part of being a Rioter. As I mentioned before, there is an endless quest for mastery and Riot supports this at every turn. There is a constant stream of educational and development opportunities through a variety of channels, and if there is something unique that you want to do that will help level up both you and Riot (even sometimes not directly related to your current role), there is support for that as well. As an example, I recently wanted to take an academic accreditation in a specific methodology for leadership, management, and communications. From start to finish, the approval for this took a day despite the fact that there was a cost associated with it ... that should tell you something about how Riot operates and looks at professional growth. No one has to tell me that the expectation is that I will take what I learn, bring it to Riot, and level up the other Rioters around me by sharing this knowledge. And damned right I will.

    Cons

    Recruitment Process - The recruitment process can be incredibly brutal. There can be long delays in communication before and after screenings and interviews, and the overall process is lengthy as well due to the number of people in various locations involved in every new hire process. They are working on making this process better, but it is still quite painful for many applicants.

    Ambiguity - Riot doesn't really do black and white. If you are looking for a data and process driven work environment with people telling you what to do and when to do it, you probably wont fit the majority of roles at Riot. Riot uses data to inform decisions, yes, but context is king. You don't get to lay back and say "well the numbers say x so y is correct". You have to figure out a lot of things, and in some cases this is great ... in other cases, it is a sign of missing direction or leadership and this is something that Riot is beginning to tackle, though it is pretty rare from what I have seen. The result in these rare situations is misalignment, which in turn can cause confusion and frustration.

    Blistering Pace - Things are constantly changing and evolving ... some people love this, some people don't. I love it and thrive in an environment that moves at a fast pace, but I know there are a lot of people out there that prefer a more consistently stable and routine work environment. Riot really is a culture of work hard, play hard. If you can't keep up, chances are you will be left behind. To use an anthropological analogy, Riot is hunter friendly, not farmer friendly.

    Cost of Living - Dublin, while a super cool city, is incredibly expensive in terms of cost of living. Rents are so expensive that as a sole provider in your family, things can be tight even on an above average salary, especially if you want to live in a family-friendly area around Dublin without a hellish commute to the office. That can add extra pressure if you aren't prepared for this change when moving to Dublin. If you are single and going for an entry level role, chances are you will have to find a flatmate if you want to live close to work.

    Advice to Management

    Preserve the Culture - Do not let even one person in at a level of influence that doesn't genuinely share your ethos. Even if it is the most highly recommended well respected so and so from the biggest most successful company in the world. I have witnessed first hand the at first slow, then rapidly accelerating decay of an aspirational set of core values and a passionate culture because of a middle-management layer that doesn't give a damn about what we do or why we do it. Instead, they are there only to drive their own career and ego at any cost. And that cost is usually your good people and your precious culture.

    My biggest fear for Riot is that they somehow let that one person through that is really good at managing upwards and diverting the leadership levels of the organization from the culture destroying actions that they are perpetrating on those that they are responsible for, however subtle those actions might be. Just as your games are nothing without the players, your business is nothing without your passionate people. That being said, I hope that the open feedback culture will help prevent this scenario.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "A growing company with a startup mentality -- for better or worse"

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

    I worked at Riot Games as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Easily, the best part of working at Riot is the fact that everyone has at least one thing in common: League of Legends. The amount of passion that exudes from this workplace is astounding, and when you consider that it is all centered around making the best player experience it becomes a really powerful motivator to get out of bed in the morning. The company hires the best talent and everyone at Riot is smart and has your back. It's a flat structure where you'll sit in an open area with your entire team leading to an amazingly collaborative workplace. The perks are great, too. Riot cares about its employees and it shows in the love the employees give back to the company.

    Cons

    Riot clings to the startup mentality that worked well when it had dozens of employees, but now that it has around 1500 the company needs to reevaluate how it runs internally. Beer at company wide events? Great. Relying on bro deals and quid-pro-quo rather than official channels to streamline a process? That's a problem. This could be merely growing pains of a company that still thinks of itself as a small operation but as the company matures these are issues that need to be addressed. Additionally, the startup mentality combined with the flat structure sometimes leads to extreme levels of ambiguity. Riot is blazing new territory in the videogame industry and ambiguity is expected there, but ambiguity due to negligence is not acceptable.

    Advice to Management

    Don't change the culture, but don't be afraid of embracing process to make the company operate more efficiently. The problems that the community has with League are almost all easily traced back to problems within the company culture. After having been a long time player, the transition to an insider made a lot of the problems make sense. It's easy to get swept up in things after being on the inside for too long but always remember to look at it from the players' perspective.


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