The Weekly Raid: Riot's Riotous Week
Its not easy being king. League of Legends, and the studio behind the hit MOBA, Riot Games have been a major leading force in the gaming industry for years. This week, the legendary studio finds itself under assault.
One broadside against Riot Games is a lengthy investigative piece by Kotaku alleging rampant sexism at the studio's offices across the world. The other salvo comes from tech industry news source The Information which alleges that Riot's relationship with parent company Tencent has deteriorated over the past few years. Disagreements on a mobile strategy seem to have frayed relationships, especially after Rioters saw just how similar Arena of Valor was to League of Legends.
More startling than accusations of sexism or fraying corporate relations, it seems the bloat at Riot Games has grown to large for even the League of Legends money-machine to keep up. Both former and current employees have told The Information that a company-wide meeting in March informed workers that the company would run a deficit if things continue on their current path.
While League of Legends is still a money machine, the singular title continues to support a swelling employee base, including multiple secret game development teams. Riot Games currently has an estimated 2,500 employees, to put that into perspective, Valve's total headcount is below 400.
League of Legends has been at the top of the PC gaming market for years, but with the ascent of the battle royale genre and the growth of the mobile gaming market, Riot Games now faces a turbulent re-balancing. Do you think Riot Games can recover, clear its name, and launch new successful titles? Or will this week mark the start of a long slide down for the studio?