Dublin jobs at risk as Riot Games cuts 11pc of global staff

23 Jan 2024

Image: Riot Games

The e-sports company employs hundreds of staff in Dublin and is slashing its workforce to focus on ‘fewer, high-impact projects’.

Tencent-owned Riot Games is cutting 11pc of its workforce – 530 jobs globally – as part of adjustments to its business.

The company behind the popular League of Legends game sent a memo to all staff yesterday (22 January) informing them of the decision. Staff have also been emailed to confirm if their role has been impacted, according to the memo.

Riot Games has its EMEA headquarters in Dublin and employs hundreds of staff there, with a boost of 120 in 2022 when it opened a remote broadcast centre there. Based on the 11pc cut, dozens of Dublin jobs could be impacted by the decision.

The gaming company has been asked to comment on the matter but has not responded at time of publication.

In the memo to staff, Riot Games CEO Dylan Jadeja attributed the decision to a number of “big bets” the company made in recent years and its rapid growth in staff – doubling its headcount in “just a few years”.

“We’re a company without a sharp enough focus, and simply put, we have too many things underway,” Jadeja said. “Some of the significant investments we’ve made aren’t paying off the way we expected them to. Our costs have grown to the point where they’re unsustainable, and we’ve left ourselves with no room for experimentation or failure.”

“This is absolutely the last thing we ever wanted to do. A decision like this has a massive impact on people’s lives and on the culture of Riot. We’re not doing this to appease shareholders or to hit some quarterly earnings number – we’ve made this decision because it’s a necessity.”

Jadeja said impacted staff members will receive a minimum severance pay of six months’ salary, along with other offerings such as health benefits, equity, a laptop and career support.

In a separate post, the company said it is refocusing its efforts on “fewer, high-impact projects” to move toward a more sustainable future. Riot Games said it will focus on its core live games – the job cuts will mainly impact teams outside of core development as a result.

The waves of job cuts witnessed at the start of 2023 in the broader tech sector are being mirrored in the first month of 2024. Earlier this month, Google confirmed it is cutting hundreds of jobs globally as the tech giant aims to become more efficient.

Twitch recently slashed its workforce by a third in a bid to resize based on the “current scale of our business”. Digital printing company Xerox also announced it is cutting thousands of staff this quarter, as part of a “reinvention” strategy that could lead to Irish job losses.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic