list Riot Forge is done and LoR on life support after Riot lays off 530 employees – PlayerAuctions Blog

Riot Forge is done and LoR on life support after Riot lays off 530 employees

riot layoffs
By | January 25th, 2024 | Categories: News

It’s a sad month for Riot fans as the studio has laid off 530 employees from the company, which is 11% of its labor force. In addition, Riot Forge has also been shut down, which means that the arm responsible for making the company’s popular single-player games has essentially ceased functioning. This raises many questions on the future of some of Riot’s pending projects, which includes Bandle City.

A Push for Sustainability

CEO Dylan Jadeja emphasized that the decision to remove 530 of its employees for sustainability reasons. Many of those laid off were part of the Legends of Runeterra team, which has been underperforming for many years. While the game has a passionate community, the cost of upkeep doesn’t translate to profit, as the company has been pulling resources from other avenues to sustain it. 

Unfortunately, the time has come to axe most of the LoR team to ensure that Riot can refocus on core projects that show more promise. Aside from the Legends of Runeterra devs, the company had also let go of the Forge label, which is in the process of making other games. While the gaming community warmly accepted titles like Ruined King, Mageseeker, and Songs of Nunu, they could have made more profit than their marketing had hoped. Fortunately, Bandle City will still be released as scheduled and will probably be Riot Forge’s last project.

Riot’s CEO reiterated that they want to sharpen their focus on games that click. They had too many projects in their attempt to expand and become a multi-game, multi-experience company. Riot now thinks they have lost their edge, so they must reallocate to games that matter to them. 

Aside from a marketing perspective, Riot hopes to refocus resources allocated to these branches on other avenues that they think resound more heavily with their players. These games include League of Legends, Valorant, Teamfight Tactics, and Wild Rift. However, many fans have been wondering how these changes will impact the development of the MMO. 

How Will the MMO Be Affected?

How deeply these layoffs will impact the MMO is still being determined, as many of them could have been involved with its research and development. Riot also did not put out any details relating to how these changes will affect their potential MMORPG. Some of the allocated resources could go to developing this project. However, some believe the game could have a bleak future because Riot could have lost its interest in creating one. 

CEO Jadeja mentioned that the layoffs were also a result of several bets not performing as well as they had hoped, and they needed to make many adjustments, especially to projects still in the R&D phase. The Riot MMO is rumored to still be in its research and development stages, so these changes will primarily affect them. However, we lack any clear information to draw concrete conclusions, so we must wait for an announcement from Riot. 

What Will Happen to Legends of Runeterra?

Since most layoffs were directed at the LoR team, the game is essentially on life support. Regarding content, the Legends of Runeterra will now focus heavily on its Path of Champions PvE experience. Other features could get some downgrades as there are fewer employees to support the game. 

One thing that some fans are bummed about is the implications of the layoffs on Rune Terra’s world-building. Much of Riot’s universe’s lore was developed by the LoR team, and the streamlined universe took much inspiration from what the card game has already released. Since Legends of Runeterra has been significantly downsized, Riot’s story-telling ability and world-building could be adversely impacted. 

Will Riot Still Release Single-Player Games in the Future?

While the shutdown of Riot Forge seems like the end of the company’s single-player experience, CEO Jadeja has stated that their door is still open for potential projects. They are still willing to work with other developers should something that shows promise come up. However, they are not entirely invested in this thought as they want to focus more on their core games. 

Fans’ Opinion on the Layoffs Vary

The gaming community has mixed feelings about the layoffs. While everyone sympathizes with those let go, some view these changes as a positive or a negative thing for Riot. Fans think the layoffs are a good change since the company can now commit more to games that matter. However, some fans believe that letting go of such a substantial portion of the workforce won’t bode well.

There are a considerable number of people who believe that many of those laid off should be from Riot’s marketing team. Many allude to the failure to meet the expectations of Riot Forge and the LoR team due to the marketing’s inability to ground their goals. While the single-player games were warmly received, they were considered too expensive for the content they released. Considering that most Riot gamers were used to the company’s free-to-play model, the cost of these projects caused many to skip the Riot Forge experience, resulting in financial failure. 

Riot’s Layoff is the Seventh One this Year

Riot is not the only company that has made massive layoffs since the start of the year. Other companies like Unity, Twitch, Lost Boys Interactive, Thunderful, Bossa, Behaviour Interactive, and CI games have all made similar moves to remove a handful from their workload. Many believe this was an eventual outcome due to these companies overhiring during the pandemic to adjust to new working environments. With the COVID crisis almost over and things have normalized, these giants have too many employees and have decided to remove many to maintain sustainability and profit.

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