Riot Games described their strategy for the next five years, saying they see themselves “not as a games company but as a gamer company”. The long article, attributed to Riot CEO Nicolo Laurent, doesn’t describe what they specifically intend to do, but the kinds of things they want to do and the internal changes designed to get there.
The post also acknowledges the recent history of Riot Games, including their settlement last month of a gender discrimination lawsuit dating back to 2018.
“As we shared with Rioters three years ago, Riot was at the heart of what has become a calculation in our industry. We’ve come a very long way since then – in our workplace, our processes and our leadership – and we ‘I will continue this work every day,’ the post read under a headline titled “Starting a New Chapter.”
“To be clear, we’re not asking anyone to forget this chapter and move on. On the contrary, the lessons we’ve learned together over the past few years will be a crucial part of Riot’s origin story. Games Something we will continue to teach as part of our denewb focus and lessons that we will use to always focus on what is right for the Rioters in order to make Riot the best place to work. ”
The post makes no mention of the lawsuit brought against Laurent himself last year by a former aide for alleged discrimination. Riot’s own investigation reportedly found “no evidence” of harassment.
The rest of Laurent’s post describes what Riot wants to achieve. It’s a lot of talk about being ‘bold’ and ‘redefining’ fandom and so on. The concrete parts are that Riot wants to do more games, than they want to do Following than games by also producing more esports, TV shows (like Arcane), movies and events, and that they have restructured the company into different “pillars” to make that happen.
It also includes many changes that have a direct impact on the staff. Employees will need to return to the office three days a week once it is safe, for example, with two “flexible” days where they can choose to work from home.
Riot is also offering new employee bonus programs and temporarily expanding Queue Dodge, a program that allows Riot staff to quit and receive 25% of their annual base salary and 3 months of benefits. “No one should feel pressured to stay or leave Riot. Whatever he decides is the right decision for him,” the post read. “If they’re excited about what’s next and want to stay in Riot, that’s fine. If they’re hesitant and this package makes it easier for them to leave, that’s fine too.”
I am immensely cynical. The message is a comprehensive corporate communication, designed to appeal to gamers and employees, and to frame a dreadful corporate culture that has produced multiple allegations of harassment and abuse as “painful losses” that Riot has learned from. and overcome. That may be true and working at Riot is now sunshine and lollipops, but I wouldn’t take a CEO post shared publicly for that.
If you’re a fan of Riot games, at least it’s a commitment to continue serving you more of what you love – whether it’s continued support for those same games, new spin-offs, of a related “cinematographic universe”, events or merchandising. As more of a Valve fan, I admit it sounds better than living with an occasional GEICO insurance ad.