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Riot Games Employee Reviews about "rioters"

Updated Oct 18, 2020

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4.2
78%
Recommend to a Friend
80%
Approve of CEO
Riot Games CEO Nicolo  Laurent (no image)
Nicolo Laurent
124 Ratings
Pros
  • "Most of the people you work with are gamers, and they care about doing the best thing for players(in 81 reviews)

  • "Cares about Rioters: Riot has fantastic perks because they want to keep the talent (that's us) happy(in 69 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "work life balance depends on the which team you are in(in 66 reviews)

  • "I am so glad that I met with other Rioters and asked honest questions to receive honest answers(in 62 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

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    Reviews about "rioters"

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    1. 5.0
      Current Employee

      The best career decision I’ve ever made

      Feb 29, 2020 - Recruiter in Los Angeles, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Riot is a company that deeply honors it’s mission of being the most player focused company in the world. The employees, endearingly called Rioters, are some of the most passionate, brilliant people I’ve ever worked with. I’m in a perpetual state of knowledge gaining and sharing every day that I show up. The authenticity at Riot continues to astound me. Every day I’m encouraged to give and ask for feedback, and to be uniquely myself which is seen as one of my greatest contributions. IMPACT. No matter what group you’re a part of you have tremendous impact of creating the future in gaming and entertainment which is really special. Play. Riot values hard work and commitment just as much as they do play. There are several events throughout the year dedicated to fostering a player’s spirit, and the campus is designed to encourage all forms of play at any time. Benefits and pay are really great. Riot’s compensation structure is unparalleled for the industry and the benefits extend beyond medical/ dental/ vision to really capture unique areas of our personal lives.

      Cons

      External perception. As a minority (in more than one spectrum) I was cautious about beginning a career at Riot based on some of the articles I read that depicted the culture. I am so glad that I met with other Rioters and asked honest questions to receive honest answers. My experience has negated all of the false narratives that I read about prior to joining Riot. Work/ life balance. More of a personal issue than a Riot issue to be fair. When you’re surrounded by people that are so committed to delivering the next great thing for players it can be tough to unplug for self care.

      10 people found this review helpful
    2. 3.0
      Former Employee, more than 8 years

      Riot used to be special :(

      Oct 18, 2020 - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Riot was special, but it no longer is, which is incredibly sad but I will look back with fondness, appreciation and gratitude for being able to call myself a Rioter, collaborate with very talented people, while being part of a team that delivered such joy to millions across the world. I was lucky enough to have some great, supportive leaders and thanks to their support, I was well compensated, provided with challenges that enabled me to grow while also being lucky enough to do well in the Tencent purchase, though this also marked the beginning of the end for Riot with a new CEO and increased Tencent oversight. Marc and Brandon were truly inspirational founders, who gave generously back to their staff, more than was needed. The founders have not been around in recent years, though Marc is back, which is great for Riot. Riot does look after its people in many ways - the benefits (medical, life insurance, 401k match, comp is decent and bonuses can be good) and there’s a nice campus. I guess superficially also with great lunches/coffee and the kitchen pantries that many Rioters like to raid for their late-night weekend gaming snacks. There are managers who genuinely care and also provide great mentorship, but once you get to a senior leadership level, both that mentorship and the Learning Development programs for middle management (and up) are severely lacking. The games are great, well maybe not all - it’s worth calling out the creation and execution of TFT as being incredible (the protection that team got to work in a bubble was impressive, huge credit to LoL leadership and all involved).

      Cons

      The current vision and future plans are uninspiring and weak, but when you put Publishing in charge of the company you will become a stolid publisher like many game companies before. In reality, Nicolo’s vision is executed as “all the things, let’s not miss out on China and give Jin more”. There is a lack of accountability throughout, especially in Senior and Executive Leadership, which is evidenced by Publishing becoming so powerful despite being the worst-performing area of the company for years (and they defunded the teams that were supposed to measure their performance), but yet their leader just keeps getting more power. Many in leadership care more about your "approach" versus what you contribute. They ask for your feedback but they don’t really want it, especially if you point out "the emperor has no clothes". At this point, be prepared for feedback about being critical, or advised to get aligned or to stick to your lane. You may then hear a narrative about you being negative or misaligned. If you want to progress to VP and above, be prepared to be political but look, this goes for most companies so that’s just life, but it seems to have become worse since the CEO change. The executive team have empowered the vocal minority (i.e. the Slack warriors, who are bitter about everything and whose job seems to be to ensure every social issue is a focus for Riot), while also rewarding many overly political leaders, who drive mostly failure, dish the kool-aid without any substance and never have to worry about being held accountable. So, with the culture changing, reward for performance “standardized”, and unaccountable leadership who continue to be allowed to get away with anything, the best talent is now leaving (during a pandemic) - many good leaders, upper management layer (who carried the company despite the weak executive layer) and ICs (i.e. the doers). Leadership has a tough job now on their hands to ensure more talent doesn’t leave but it’s mostly of their own making. They will most likely protect themselves and tell their own narrative regarding those who have left were not a cultural fit or were negative, i.e. “don’t worry, we are stronger now”. In closing, if you’re reading this and thinking about joining Riot, it really depends on the area you’re joining and its leadership. There are many amazing and talented people there (LoL, TFT & Valorant would be the highlights, though they’ve also lost a plethora of talent) but it is a cult and be wary of the narrative. There will also probably be an exodus of talent next March when the final big bonus payment drops.

      24 people found this review helpful
    3. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Strong on Culture and Teamwork. Finding its Way as it Matures

      Dec 14, 2014 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      I'm not sure how to break this down into a simple list of pros and cons. Everything about Riot is dual-edged and requires consistent grounding to maintain realistic perspectives. If I could summarize, Rioters are given great power. "And with great power comes great responsibility." Riot believes in its cultural manifesto. Culture drives everything, but it's not as simple as reading and consenting to the manifesto. Riot culture is a mirror through which Rioters reflect on whether we're winning or losing both as a company and as individuals, and it requires ongoing introspection even after years of working here. Riot has lots of perks. Free meals, parties, international trips, lots of swag, relaxed work environment, flexible hours, unlimited PTO, time allotted to play games, playfund (they will pay for you to buy games), etc. Riot takes good care of its employees and strives to create a work environment that is fun and challenging. Many on the outside accidentally mistake this for culture. It isn't. Culture is the set of shared values we can agree upon as being important to us and describing who we aspire to be. During the interview process, candidates are screened not only on their raw qualifications (what have they accomplished, can they perform the job function), but on whether they demonstrate clear alignment with Riot's cultural values. Yearly 360-Reviews break feedback down into categories aligned with the cultural manifesto. A large portion of Riot's senior leadership is focused on how to make sure Riot's culture remains intact as the organization continues to grow globally. This has some interesting manifestations as it comes to hiring and career growth. - Culture is prized more than raw technical ability in a hire. A candidate may be intellectually brilliant or driven, but will not make it through if they seem to lack humility or a default orientation toward succeeding as a team versus as an individual. I have witnessed any number of amazing engineers either be passed over as a hire or leave the company because at the end of the day they valued building awesome technology more than they valued how that technology was creating better experiences for the player. This is neither a pro nor a con, but it is a reality that potential Rioters should understand and keep in mind. - Promotion and career progression are disconnected from how "hard" one works, who they know, or one's particular work quality (unless that quality is sub-par). It's mostly a function of one's demonstrated ability to force-multiply; to help their team or other teams to accomplish more and to drive new ways to approaching problems. "Senior" individuals are not looked at as merely having greater expertise than their peers or having higher throughput. They're primarily viewed as people who are able to create an environment or atmosphere that removes obstacles and makes their peers feel empowered. Thus, longevity or delivery on mere quantity of features doesn't play well for advancement. - Everything is done as part of a team. Lone-wolves, no matter how brilliant, will not succeed long term. Individual contributors are not highly valued unless they are also helping to level up the rest of their peers. Individual quantity, throughput, or flashes of brilliance don't really make up for failure in this regard. - Internal advancement to senior leadership is primarily achieved through challenging convention - championing some new idea or problem space - and being able to rally a team around it. Waiting for a new department to have an open leadership slot is not very effective. Most senior leaders I've observed that weren't external hires were folks who identified a problem space they cared about passionately, were able to rally others around around it, and ended up proposing and creating the team/department from wholecloth. - Management will generally not tell you what to do. This is good for the type of people Riot wants to attract, not so good for those who are fundamentally task-oriented. Leaders at Riot want to clarify goals and expectations, but unless you're an associate level, they don't want to tell you what to do or how to do it. They generally expect that Rioters are capable of thinking for themselves and understand when to reach out to their teammates or leaders for alignment or help. But individual Rioters are expected to own this themselves and figure out what needs to be done. This can be empowering much of the time, but also frustrating when a Rioter lacks clarity and doesn't understand how to seek it. Lastly, on the positive side, Riot's culture of open feedback has created an environment where everything mentioned in this review (both in pros here and the cons below) can be (and are regularly) discussed openly. Riot isn't a perfect organization - it's made of human beings after all - but it is an organization that craves feedback and opportunities to learn how to be better all the time.

      Cons

      Same with the pros above, I don't consider these purely negative, but they do present some challenges. Most of these center on how Rioters communicate effectively as the scale of the company increases. - Hiring feels SLOW. The need to maintain Riot culture in addition to finding highly qualified candidates can make it feel like you're constantly searching for a unicorn. It's super important to find cultural fits. But if your team needs to hire 5 people to succeed, get ready to feel like you're short on resources for the next year. - Immature communication channels. Riot is gradually figuring out how to manage team interactions as the company grows across multiple offices, but this can often be painful. There is still some startup mentality where people think they can just call folks into a room/meeting and everyone will be on the same page. This can sometimes lead to a sense that you need to be "in the room" in order to have your opinion matter. - Too many recurring meetings. As Riot grows and it becomes harder to have casual face-to-face conversations with all stakeholders, lots of folks try to schedule meetings as a replacement. These drain the productive juices out of many participants. Be prepared to push back on any meeting invite that doesn't have a set, clear agenda. They will try to take over your calendar. - Weak meeting facilitation. Riot prides itself on being a flat organization. Bosses don't dominate the discussion and all Rioters are encouraged to participate. Riot tries to create a meritocratic environment for surfacing ideas in meetings, where anyone is encouraged to speak up at any time. But without strong facilitation, this often leads to people who are willing to interrupt or those whose style is to "think out loud" to be the majority of the voice that gets heard. This has led to an impression among many that when it comes to getting your vision across at Riot, only alpha personalities are valued. This is an unfortunate (and inaccurate) perception, but it's not helped by lack of strong facilitation during meetings. Riot needs to learn stronger facilitation techniques in order to maintain meritocratic interactions without accidentally promoting a culture that values "waiting to talk" over listening. Be prepared to exercise patience here. - Side-effects of a strong culture of ownership. Usually this is a great thing, as it encourages teams to take responsibility for what they create end-to-end without pointing fingers when they assumed another team would handle something for them. But a side effect one will notice over time is that some teams come to believe they own an entire type of problem space for the company and can become territorial when other teams start to tread in their domain. This is something management seems sort of aware of and is gradually dealing with over time, but it can be a pain point. People who excel at inter-team collaboration and relationship building will be most effective under these circumstances. - Individual Rioters are responsible for maintaining their own work/life balance. This is a positive in principle, but I think the company could do more to arm new Rioters with some practical tools & techniques. Nobody makes you stay late or work weekends, but it's very easy to fall into doing that at Riot if you don't make a conscious effort to stay on top of it.

      Continue reading
      99 people found this review helpful
    4. 4.0
      Current Employee

      Growing up

      Sep 1, 2020 - Human Resources 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Passionate people, Matrixed environment, Great benefits, failures that lead to learnings are accepted

      Cons

      Rioters can be entitled, Its an org thats growing up and learning mature practices

      1 person found this review helpful
    5. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 5 years

      Perfectly imperfect

      Nov 27, 2018 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      At its core, Riot is humble. Clearly, mistakes have been made, but when flaws or failures are identified Riot not only strives to fix them, but also holds itself highly accountable for them happening in the first place. Leadership genuinely cares about making the company a safe and prosperous place for every Rioter. Steps are being taken to properly identify and remove bad actors, as well as ensure that every person here understands how to be their best self and how to combat wrongdoing. I have strong faith that Riot will emerge from the recent turmoil as an example for other gaming and tech companies to live up to. Riot is always willing to listen to feedback and learn from its mistakes. The company's not perfect, but it aspires to correct its imperfections at every opportunity. While no company is entirely free from office politics, it is not difficult to navigate them, or avoid them, or call them out here. I fear that some Rioters take for granted how much voice and empowerment they have here. Beyond that, Riot treats us very well in general. We have excellent benefits, amenities, work/life balance, perks, and (to my knowledge) very competitive pay. Having worked in other companies and in other industries, Riot is by far the most refreshing environment I've encountered in my professional life. I can trust fellow Rioters to do their best and I can trust Riot to do right by me.

      Cons

      I would say Riot's biggest fault is that many career growth paths are not well defined. This issue is exacerbated by the fact that Riot strives to hire very talented, ambitious people. It's not quite as much of a struggle for the mature disciplines at Riot, such as Technology and Art. Those are large segments of the overall org, but there are many disciplines that need to catch up on this front. On the plus side, Riot has identified this as an area for vast improvement and is taking organization-spanning steps to improve it. I'm excited to see the fruits of those efforts.

      Continue reading
      9 people found this review helpful
    6. 2.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Zero Integrity Workplace

      Dec 15, 2018 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Stability, let's face it in games knowing you have a paycheck to come home to grants peace of mind. The campus amenities like coffee and free lunch are a nice perk. I've been able to grow my career here and have been given significantly more responsibility over my time at the studio.

      Cons

      Absolutely zero integrity when it comes to consistent management of people. The promise of cultural change has been mostly lip service to check a few boxes. Many senior leaders call the Kotaku article "blown out of proportion" or "just a case of a few bad managers." I assure you this is not the case but no one wants to admit the problem is in their house. Discussions of how people are feeling have been all but squelched by a "no rumor milling, no discussions of the lawsuit" gag order instituted by the CEO. Hilariously the studio decided a 2 month holiday vacation was the appropriate response to a COO who has made many feel excluded, uncomfortable and harassed. The takeaway? As long as you perform well in your role it doesn't matter how you treated Rioters 4 years ago. Not acceptable. Our new heros are people who write up a set of fluffy meaningless values. Seriously Riot? We deserve better than cheesy lines like "dream big" and "thrive together." The trainings that have been rolled out in order to get at our cultural issues have been massive wastes of time which have led to zero change in the day to day experience of working at the studio. It is sad to see such a great studio turn to this.

      Continue reading
      36 people found this review helpful
    7. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 5 years

      Dedicated to solving problems

      Oct 4, 2018 - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Riot is one of those rare companies where the mission and vision are more than words on a page. We all truly believe in what we're doing and our focus on players lies at the core of every decision we make. Riot is "tough" in the sense that you'll experience an uncomfortable feeling of growth that helps you improve as a professional and a person. If you can adapt, give and receive feedback, and work with the people around you, you'll find a rewarding career at Riot. Riot has pros and cons, and unlike other companies I've worked at, we're aware of our shortcomings and actively working on finding the optimal culture, structure, philosophy, etc. to help us ship the best products. I'm endlessly impressed with our leaders' ability to realize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution and weigh that in our cultural and product decisions. Have there been missteps? Yes. Do we learn and improve? Yes. -Autonomy - you'll be given ownership over large problems and expected to deliver with the help of others -Passion - everyone who works at Riot cares deeply about players -Feedback / open-mindedness - feedback is an expectation. No one is above criticism, and your merit is based on what you do, not who you are, how long you've been here, or how good you are at hiding -Agility - doing something "because that's how we've always done it" isn't good enough at Riot. We constantly measure our impact, decisions, and processes to adapt to the current environment -PEOPLE - the people at Riot are unbelievably talented and humble. Every time I talk to a new person, I learn about some fascinating area of expertise, and everyone's so willing to share their experience -Transparency - Riot leadership is extremely accessible and open about our strategy and roadmap. Every couple of weeks we sit down and do an AMA and talk about challenges, products, etc. This extends to teams as well. The environment is very "open door”

      Cons

      First, some quick thoughts on the current diversity discussion: the recent articles on Kotaku were painful to read. We've been discussing these articles as a company for over a month now (and we've been discussing the problem for years) and I think we're making some great strides. It's horrible that anyone at Riot ever felt like they weren't valued or treated fairly - we need create a better environment and solve this problem at Riot, in the industry, and on planet Earth if we hope to reach equilibrium, and that's a tall order. The reason I'm still here and still writing a five star review is that I'm 100% confident that Riot has the people and tools to solve this problem, and we're seeing the progress right now. There's plenty more to unpack here, but I actually think Riot is in a much better place in regards to diversity and inclusion than any company I've worked at in the past. -Ambiguity - all the autonomy comes with ambiguity. Rioters own their products and decisions, and that can be daunting. It takes some getting used to but it means you'll have a broader scope and more room to grow -Lifecycle - Riot grew incredibly fast and that means we've got some tech and organizational debt to clean up. We're still very much in startup mode but we're learning how to create healthy processes and standards to become more efficient and mature

      4 people found this review helpful
    8. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Great Company, Somewhat Fractured

      Sep 15, 2015 - Marketing Associate in Santa Monica, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      If you're the kind of person that deeply cares about games and wants to really enjoy going to work every day, Riot is definitely worth considering. The perks are generally excellent, but it's the ethos and the other Rioters that really make it special. While sometimes daunting, it's awesome to feel dwarfed by your talented colleagues all across the company.

      Cons

      We grew really big, really fast. As a result, there's a ton of inefficiency and patchwork solutions that often make it difficult to get a particular project done. A lot of people (parts of the League of Legends community, some Rioters, etc.) don't realize or appreciate the path that was taken to get here, and they don't realize that many of the "bad decisions" that were made early on and have resulted in a difficult tech base or difficult processes were a result of a company in uncharted territory doing its damnedest to keep their head and service above water. It doesn't mean that the current pains aren't real, but it's important to keep some perspective. One specific con of working at Riot is that, mostly as a result of a very large, very dedicated playerbase, the amount of vitriol and anger (and misinformation) that can get thrown around by people on the internet towards you and your teammates can be pretty rough. If you have thin skin, it can be hard to dive into player conversations.

      Continue reading
      4 people found this review helpful
    9. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Bomb-ass company that just needs to keep getting better

      Nov 3, 2016 - Senior Writer in Los Angeles, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - CULTURE: The company culture is so open, thoughtful, and friendly. The emphasis on "player focus" actually impacts everything, and it's awesome. It tastes like Kool-Aid at first, and maybe it is, but goddamn if it ain't delicious. - ENVIRONMENT/OFFICES: Plenty of space, beautiful campus, free coffee shop with the worlds most clutch baristas (SO to my boy Richard with my mocha americano on lock every day for me), food and games everywhere. It's a gamer's/geek's paradise. - GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES (PERSONAL+PROFESSIONAL): Riot's feedback culture positively refines people that enter into it with the right mindset. People help each other get better here. And if you work hard and look for ways to contribute in a big, meaningful way, you'll be rewarded with career growth opportunities. - BENEFITS: Awesome healthcare and pay benefits. The other reviews enumerate these, so I won't.

      Cons

      - HIRING: This company thinks it's great at hiring but it's actually trash-tier at it. Very little respect is given for candidates' time—the interview process often drags on for the better part of a year and I've seen candidates get turned down at the final stage of their interview process for weak reasons. - BLOAT: Fast growth begets bloat. Most Rioters work very hard, but there are obvious cases where lazy or not-useful Rioters are coasting.

      Continue reading
      3 people found this review helpful
    10. 3.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      The graveyard of ambitions or the land of chill: you decide

      Jun 23, 2015 - Talent in Santa Monica, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      If you want a comfortable life, good pay for developer standards, free food, and playing video games at work, then this is the place to be. The only string attached is that you have to follow the status quo. The status quo will not be challenged. This is the land of chill if you just do your job, which isn't a bad thing for most people. Most Rioters are cool and fun people to work and hang out with. You will not be bored. This isn't a 9-5 corporate job for sure.

      Cons

      Let the witch hunt begin. The single biggest issue with Riot is poor management that refuses to leave because of the lack of liquidity (and can't be fired because they are great at blowing smoke). You have people who may have been good at running a 200-person company years ago but the company has outscaled them. Running a 10x bigger company come with 10x bigger problems. There are also people who are great at surviving rather than creating value. There are people with the best of intentions but an equal if not larger amount of vested people who just want to coast until the next liquidity event. If you worked at Riot for 3-4 years, you will know what triggers to push to bog things down. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed? Don't go. If you want to move the needle, don't go. Not now, for Riot is the graveyard of ambitions. The main consideration isn't innovation, it is protecting the core asset at all costs and milking it (League of Legends). This isn't a bad thing - just a specific business decision. Want to do big things? Go join a startup instead. Bonus tip for female candidates: ask during your interviews how many female senior leaders are in the company (zero), and then consider how far you are going to rise beyond junior/mid levels. I'll leave it at that, interview as many female Rioters as you can to get a real feel of what happens.

      Continue reading
      83 people found this review helpful
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