Riot Games found itself grappling with significant layoffs this week, a move that sent shockwaves throughout the gaming community, particularly among fans.
With over 500 employees affected, the repercussions of this have reverberated across various facets of the company, from champion development to the production of splash arts and models.
The impact of the layoffs has been palpable, casting over Riot’s studios. Seasoned artists, who have contributed their creative talents to the team for years, now find themselves putting the finishing touches on their final projects, while the LEC broadcast soldiers on with a skeletal crew, bearing witness to the stark reality of downsizing.
For Riot Lexical, the product manager overseeing League of Legends’ champion roster, the aftermath of the layoffs has posed significant challenges. While upcoming releases like Smolder and Skarner remain on track, the looming specter of delays looms ominously over future champion releases. Lexical acknowledges the inevitability of “shifting timelines,” a testament to the upheaval within the development pipeline.
The process of champion reworks and new releases, already time-intensive, has been further complicated by the restructuring at Riot Games. Visual updates demand attention to detail, requiring the painstaking recreation of skins alongside core developmental tasks, while the introduction of new champions presents its own unique set of hurdles.
The ambiguity surrounding the extent of the layoffs has only exacerbated the uncertainty gripping the development team. Even employees found themselves in the dark, with the initial announcement offering scant details regarding the affected personnel.
In the wake of the upheaval, Riot Lexical endeavors to ascertain the full extent of the impact on their development schedule, navigating uncharted waters with resilience and determination.
Despite the turbulence, assurances have been made regarding the delivery of announced content, including the highly anticipated release of Ambessa Medarda and the visual update/rework for a pivotal Arcane character.
However, the road ahead remains fraught with uncertainty, particularly with regards to Arcane Season 2’s slated November 2024 premiere. The diminished dev team raises questions about the feasibility of aligning Arcane-themed content with the series’ launch, leaving the fate of planned releases shrouded in uncertainty.