Research firm names Riot Games a top medium-sized US workplace

League of Legends developer named third-best medium-sized United States workplace in recent study.

Research firm Great Place To Work has named League of Legends developer Riot Games the third-best medium-sized workplace in the United States. Riot Games, based Santa Monica, California, was the only game developer to be named to the medium-sized list.

"We aspire to make Riot Games a legitimately great place to work, so it feels great to be recognized for our efforts to create a culture where Rioters can thrive," the company said in a statement.

This was the first year that Riot Games applied for selection to the list. Surveys about life at Riot Games were sent to randomly selected employees, as were questionnaires about the company's culture and programs.

"This process gave us the opportunity to share Riot culture and stories, but also gave us a chance to take cultural inventory of where we're at and where we still need to go," Riot Games said.

Riot Games employees--or Rioters--work their own hours and have an unlimited amount of paid time off, according to Great Place to Work. 98 percent of employees said they look forward to coming to work and about the same percentage said they don't consider their work "just a job."

Riot Games has 843 full-time employees, up from 678 full-time staff in 2012 and 347 people in 2011. Men make up 85 percent of full-time Riot Games staff and about 75 percent are under 34.

"The player comes first and drives all business decisions as opposed to pure profitability," one Rioter said. "The management really practices what it preaches. Top management has created a great work environment where the mentality is no constraints and everyone is equal."

94 percent of employees said they feel like they are treated fairly regardless of their position. The same ratio said management is approachable and easy to talk with.

In terms of benefits, Riot Games pays 80 percent of health care costs and offer over 200 hours of training (public speaking, leadership, etc.) per year.

Though Rioters set their own hours, this does not encourage a culture of slacking off, the report said. 78 percent of employees said they are encouraged to balance work and their personal lives, though work hours are known to be long. To assist in balancing this, Riot Games offers a meal delivery service for those who work late and finds "many ways" to involve partners and family in the workplace.

In terms of pay, 63 percent of Rioters said they feel they receive a "fair share" of the organization's profits, while 79 percent said they feel they are paid fairly for the work they do. Overall, 98 percent of Rioters said they endorse the company as a "great workplace."

Earlier this year, Riot Games was listed as the fourth-best company to work for as part of the Top Tech Companies to Work For in 2013 list from Glassdoor and Business Insider.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

28 comments
Poison-tooth
Poison-tooth

This type of management style works well is North America. But in some cultures characterized by a high level of power distance its not possible.

June-GS
June-GS

Hmm, I guess that's good to hear. I wonder, though off-topic, with some of the stories from ex-employees, would Valve fare better or worse in these research scores and surveys. If they would appy for the studies, that is.

poromenos
poromenos

843 people to develop 1 champion per month ,tweak balance and make tournaments, it is not strange that this is a good company to work for, because they don't work?

auron11022
auron11022

Does this mean we can get passed the whole "the gaming industry treats developers like garbage" rhetoric?

Mistwalk
Mistwalk

Just hope they don't turn into EA

gplayer5
gplayer5

Sounds like an awesome place to work.

Senor_Kami
Senor_Kami

Games press will tell you that in reality, someone at Riot hit on a woman at a bar, therefore Riot is filled with mysoginist and is #1reasonwhy to hate the industry.

DMND
DMND

I clean toilets there and I see no fun at all.

lionesss
lionesss

Better be careful what we say, or else the Riot Police will come along

Hurvl
Hurvl

Working at them... is a riot!

omar_q
omar_q

'Riot Games employees--or Rioters--work their own hours and have an unlimited amount of paid time off'

Gawt dayum.

pyro1245
pyro1245

Riot, eh? Never heard of em.

Dark_Mits
Dark_Mits

Ironic how the PC game with the worst community is made by the company with the best workplace.

tylercheetham
tylercheetham

For all the crap people give League of Legends, Riot is really a great company. They interact with their community more then just about any other developer out there (other then maybe the Eve Online guys), put stuff the community suggests into their game and really do their best to try to consistently improve their product. If more companies cared as much as Riot does and were as personable, the gaming industry would be a much better place. 


ichi162
ichi162

@poromenos When you put it that way - it does make me wonder what they do all day.

June-GS
June-GS

@poromenos You do know that a medium-sized company does MUCH more things than "develop 1 champion per month", right? Not to mention that a single tournament alone is already a HUGE headache to coordinate, to say nothing of the MULTIPLE shows in a year. But in a way, I do agree with you. With the amount of leeway they are given, yes, they're practically not working anymore.  LOL

ichi162
ichi162

@Dark_Mits Indeed. Yet, Riot has put a noticeable amount of effort into removing/changing negative player behavior. Team Builder in particular has made matches mostly troll free.

Outer_Raven
Outer_Raven

@Dark_Mits Unfortunately you can't control who plays your game. And if you play long enough you'll find a handful of people that are actually pretty chill.

SirNormanislost
SirNormanislost

@Dark_Mits sadly you cant control who plays your game and frankly I doubt any community is worse than CoDs but luckily most of the players are 12 and cant be bothered to go to the forums to be abusive

lannyboy334
lannyboy334

@tylercheetham I totally agree, but I also have my doubts about whether or not companies, say 343 Industries, can afford to have everyone schedule their own hours and have unlimited PTO.  There are such strict deadlines and so many hours and so much planning that goes into the development of a AAA video game.  Riot gets to benefit from being a morphine-drip Pay-To-Win micro-transaction game with minor updates instead of whole new story lines/revamped multiplayer.  Sure, there may be a LoL 2 here at some point, but they get to take their sweet time developing it, releasing it, and in the meantime they have a game that has very long term sustainability.  It is this really ideal scenario that is tough for a lot of the "slave-driver developers" to even try to compare with.

wookie560
wookie560

Pay to win? What do i pay for to win? Last i checked u only pay for skis which add no benefit to the gameplay

June-GS
June-GS

@wookie560  My thoughts exactly. I usually avoid F2P games specifically because of the P2W component that most of them have (or need), from WoT to MWO. LoL doesn't have such a thing. I was actually surprised when I first found out. Then again, the guy up there could use my friends' argument that I only win matches because my opponents are too distracted admiring my cute skins, LOL.