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Riot Games Employee Reviews about "player focused"

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  1. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Development Manager in São Paulo, São Paulo (Brazil)
    Current Employee - Senior Development Manager in São Paulo, São Paulo (Brazil)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Riot is a great place to work. The company really takes care of its employees, office is awesome, and there are many awesome perks such as free food and drinks, great equipment, international travel multi times a year, company retreats and more. The culture is also amazing, people are really encouraged to give candid feedback and help you grow and develop as a professional. And of course, if you're a gamer, this is your place to be. Riot live by it's philosophy of being the most player focused company in the world, meaning you have the autonomy to create great things that players will love, and see your work impacting people around the globe.

    Cons

    Work-life balance is nearly impossible, I'd say. Specially if you're working on some specific areas such as eSports and live shows, you'll be away from home and working around the clock a lot. Rioters working in regions outside the HQ in Los Angeles are seen as second class citizens, which is not nice at all.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the awesome culture. Let's explore products before it's too late. Make sure to pay attention to regional offices because 1) Culture is misinterpreted or non-existent some times; 2) Regional offices doesn't have strong craft development, so people feel like abandoned; 3) Let's give more opportunities for regional offices to interact and/or work in global projects/initiatives.


  2. Helpful (10)

    "Incredible aspirations, but the reality is a work-in-progress"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Fantastic campus and perks. Once you step on the Riot HQ property, everything is free including gourmet meals, well stocked kitchens and a full service coffee shop and smoothie bar. It's like an island of Silicon Valley in the L.A. wasteland.

    While the perks are nice, it's our cultural aspirations and my awesome co-workers that keep me here. In a landscape littered with profit-maximizing soulless bureaucratic corporations, it's nice to see Marc and Brandon stand up for what they believe is right: to be the most player-focused game company in the world and to respect the folks delivering on that dream. There's a real, deep seated belief that if we keep customers and employees happy that prosperity will follow.

    We don't always nail it, but when we don't get it right it's usually because of growing pains and a failure in coordination or execution, it's never because of cynical exploitation.

    Cons

    Being more inclusive of different work styles could save us a lot of headache in our execution woes. Riot culture is EXTREMELY biased towards extroverts, often to our detriment when we rally behind big personalities over thoughtful quiet types. Senior leadership prefers a "hands off" approach that emphasizes individual and team autonomy but hasn't provided enough guidance on what good looks like, so showmanship is sometimes mistaken for merit. The typical HiPPO (highest paid person's opinion wins) problem is not prevalent which is great, but it's essentially been replaced by a "loudest voice in the room wins" problem.

    Decision-making, due to the void of central control, is chaotic, messy and slow. This has led to a lack of focus in our efforts and is probably also where our "loudest voice" problem comes from. People are latching onto these alpha males (and let's be honest, they are overwhelmingly male) because they offer a sense of certainty in an environment rife with ambiguity and competing priorities.

    Advice to Management

    I admire the decision to promote autonomy and make Riot a safe space to fail, but it's dangerous unless it's coupled with meaningful accountability and clear priorities from the top. In the same way that work will expand to fill the time allotted to it, I think the same is true for resources. League of Legends is glutted for resources, and a lot of the rest of the organization is starving. I would be surprised if League couldn't get by with 2/3 or less of it's current people. If combined with ruthless prioritization, you'd probably find quality hasn't suffered and teams are in fact shipping faster.

    Spread that love to anemic groups (especially creative exploration and business support functions).

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Amazing Growth Opportunities"

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

    I have been working at Riot Games full-time

    Pros

    The company keeps true in striving to be the most player-focused company in the world, even in the corporate functions. People here are genuinely good people who want to do the best that they can in their role, for the company and players. People want colleagues who can level up the company/team, even when that means they would be considered a lower level.

    Cons

    Due to high standards of candidates, some teams are under-staffed. The company is still growing tremendously so the company is evolving continuously. It's hard to keep up with all of the changes when a lot of the departments do their own things.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to keep standards high. Keep investing in the talent here.


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Shot-caller or back-up player, it's in your hands"

    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

    Pros

    I personally love this company, and like its mission statement, this company is literally one of THE most player-focused companies I have ever had the opportunity to work for. They take this statement very serious, and you can hear the words "player focused", "default trust", and "culture fit" anytime and everywhere in the company.

    When it comes to less experienced candidates, Riot somehow actually fully trusts in your judgement to make a tough call; they also embrace your mistakes, as long as you're willing to admit it.

    The culture here at Riot is also one thing I love, and hate: the feedback culture is very honest and open. If you did something that others don't agree, they will voice it out. The reason I say I love this is because constructive feedback is the reason that people can keep growing, but at the same time, this isn't a method for all people.

    One more thing I'd like to mention is the policy of having no titles in the office to reduce the hierarchical ladder in China. This gives new employees all the freedom to talk to anyone in the office about a problem or concern without having to think if they stepped over the line per se. And while this policy is in place, employees feel more empowered to work on the projects they love, instead of being limited to a certain job forever.

    Cons

    As I already mentioned in the pros, the word "default trust" is thrown around all the time, and yes, people do actually trust the Product Owner (PO) in his/her judgement when decisions need to made. If you were the PO in this case, sometimes you really got to make very tough calls, with limited information, and this can be a great deal of pressure. Most of the decisions that need to made here in the Hong Kong and Shanghai office are in scenarios that a lot of companies have never experienced before: such as keeping the no title policy in the company IN CHINA.

    With less experienced candidates, you do get a chance to be the product owner of things, and how you want to proceed with that PO status is completely up to yourself. However, it is a great deal of stress if you were to make one wrong call as a new hire and be courageous enough to admit it and just move on. These can be devastating moments as you are basically put on trial in front of a group of people that's questioning your decision.

    Advice to Management

    I agree with the fact that culture means everything in this company, and I believe the culture and people is what brought Riot to where it is today without compromising. However, I also believe that onboarding is crucial too. With the China office being in such an entrepreneurial state, I understand that training and mentorship may not be the top priority, but I hope the hiring managers understand this fully.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "First Year at Riot"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

    Pros

    I've been at Riot Games Sydney for less than a year, but I have enjoyed the experience thoroughly. Riot is different from a lot of other workplaces. If you look at the manifesto, that's not there for show, it's something we actually believe in and incorporate into our day to day activity.

    When we say we aspire to be the most player focused games company in the world, we mean it. Riot doesn't always get it right, and sometimes they can do some really silly things (hahaha replays/sandbox mode etc. As many Rioters are players themselves, they want these features as much as any other LoL player). But the heart is always in the right place and it shines through when we consider any major decision that will affect the Oceanic Player Base.

    We currently have a ~25 person office. Everyone is on pretty good terms with everyone else. I mean, we're all gamers, we all play League (well, almost everyone) and we all share the same mission to deliver player value. We hold internal tournaments, have catered breakfasts twice a week and a catered lunch once a week.

    This office is full of very driven people, and it's expected that you are able to manage your own time effectively and deliver results. Nobody's going to tell you what to do, but if you need help, there's always going to be a helping hand. Another plus is that if an opportunity arises that you have the skillset to help out in, you can feel free to put your hand up and do it. Nobody's gonna say no.

    This office is very much one about open feedback. If you screw up, you'll know. We're expected to level each other up.

    Oh, also, the subsidised vending machines at the office are pretty sweet (no pun intended)

    Cons

    I wouldn't say there are too many downsides to working here. Sometimes we aim for perfection too much and that can be a blocker to delivering more player value.

    Advice to Management

    Doesn't really make too much sense for me to put advice to management in a public facing review, when I could just directly give feedback to management.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "By far the best place to work in games"

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

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

    Pros

    - Riot treats all of its employees incredibly well, from top tier benefits across the board, to the state of the art campus, free gourmet lunch and dinner. I really can't imagine a better place to work in games (or in tech around the greater LA area).
    - Very strong on culture, which in my opinion is a positive thing. Company heavily focuses on player empathy across the board, even folks in non game production / design related roles (i.e. finance or recruiting) are passionate gamers.
    - Feels like the company has a ton of upside. In the history of games no one has been as invested in trying to be as player focused as Riot. It's a brave new world but could mean that there's still a lot of long term value to unlock.
    - On that note, the founders are both passionate gamers and have an incredibly long view on everything. It's never about how to take short cuts, but rather how do we do it right and make it awesome for years to come.

    Cons

    - Like most successful companies that scaled very fast, there seems to be some growing pains in terms of org / reporting structure.
    - Management has done a good job of hiring senior leaders who have lead big organizations as of late, but a good chunk of the staff feels junior.
    - Strong culture means that if you're not a gamer or have high player empathy, you will likely have some issues fitting in with colleagues.
    - Some people seem pretty relaxed at their jobs / lack a sense of urgency. Not sure it's because they've been here for a while, but not the type of attitude you want to see at a high functioning organization.

    Advice to Management

    Stay focused and stay hungry. Invest in your best talent and cut out the fat. Keep making this place an awesome place to show up every morning and continue to be player focused - success will surely follow.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Best place I"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

    Pros

    Smart people, lots of opportunities to improve your skills in whatever discipline you are a member of
    Very player focused
    Very focused on keeping employees happy

    Cons

    Lots of technical debt
    Slow dev cycles

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Riot review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Riot Games as a contractor

    Pros

    Casual dress code.
    Lunch provided in Tuesday and Dinner provided daily if working past 8:00 p.m.
    Player focused.
    Encouraged to play League of Legends multiple times daily.
    No vacation limit.

    Cons

    Very little controls.
    Values LOL players over skill sets in hiring.

    Advice to Management

    Balance player focus with big company view.


  9. Helpful (24)

    "Culture of Open Feedback is bogus."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great people make a great place, the company embraces the philosophy."

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

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

    Pros

    High growth company that kept strong roots. Good and involved founders and early leadership; who trust the people they bring in. The company will take risks, if it drives positive value. Riot actually walks the talk on being Player Focused, a rare truth in game companies.

    Great options to grow if you'll push yourself. Great, modern, tech workplace that is more focused on self improvement as a means of driving value overall than many in the game space. Amazing commitment to data science.

    Cons

    Growth means change, and rapid growth means...well...rapid change. "Adaptable" has gone from a modest requirement, to an absolute one. For example, this can mean work gets re-prioritized well into the process, and that can feel brutal. It is usually for a clear reason or emergent issue, but it does require a flexible person and a flexible team. If you're not up to change, this is likely not the right place for you.

    Advice to Management

    Stay focused on hiring the right people, never surrender the culture you've built.


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