January 26, 2024

Riot Games Shuts Down Riot Forge and Let Go 530 Employees

Riot Games, the gaming industry titan and developer behind League of Legends and Valorant, recently dropped a huge announcement detailing the decision to permanently shut down Riot Forge, letting go of their Legends of Runeterra team to rework it into a different format, and the disheartening layoffs affecting approximately 11% of their total workforce, amounting to around 530 employees, most of whom are connected to the lore behind League of Legends, Valorant, TFT, LoR, and Wild Rift.

Riot Games Titles

In a recent update aimed at the player community, Riot Games explained their strategic realignment for the near future, detailing how they intend to boost specific aspects of their games and concentrate on features that resonate with most players, while at the same time scaling back investments in areas that are deemed less impactful to the company. The January 22 dev blog post explained that these adjustments are designed to streamline Riot’s focus on elements that wield the most significant influence on the player experience.

This news, however, arrived with the revelation that two prominent projects by Riot Games would be severely impacted by these organizational changes: Legends of Runeterra, the card game based on League of Legends, and Riot Forge. What the community didn’t expect, however, is that in order to boost Lol, Valorant, TFT, Wild Rift, and the new games Riot is set to release soon, they would take so much away from the two projects fans have grown to love.

Riot Forge, the collaborative initiative that facilitated indie developers in crafting single-player titles narrating stories from the expanded League of Legends universe, will stop all new game development following the release of its sixth title, Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story. The project was instrumental in bringing League of Legends stories and lore to life, but Riot Games has decided to redirect their efforts toward internal projects they find more ambitious and lucrative.

Riot Forge Bandle Tale

In addition to Riot Forge being permanently shut down, Legends of Runeterra is facing a shift in focus towards sustainability over new updates. Financial challenges have steered this decision, leading the game’s directors to shift their focus more heavily towards the PvE Path of Champions mode. This strategic decision should boost the revenue received from Legends of Runeterra, which hasn’t been particularly successful so far, and will allow the remaining team to explore new ideas and game mechanics within this space.

These changes also mean the end of the Lore production for League of Legends, such as color stories, the Universe website, and the Interactive Map. We can only hope Arcane doesn’t go down next, since it’s been a smash hit on Netflix!

With Riot Games strategically zeroing in on their highly popular intellectual properties, such as Valorant and League of Legends, a few questions linger about the potential ramifications of these changes on their flagship titles. The player community remains uncertain about the impact of this corporate realignment on the gaming experiences they have been an organic part of over the years. Riot Games, which recently renewed their commitment to player engagement and quality experiences, has gone through lots of industry changes before, but the shift we’re seeing in 2024 is completely unheard of in their history.

 

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