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Riot Games will pay staff who leave amid changes to long-term direction

"Our mission is to be the most player-focused game company in the world".

Riot Games is allowing staff to leave with 25 percent of their salary amid changes to the long-term direction of the company.

A new blog post from Riot CEO Nicolo Laurent outlines his plan for the next five years, both in terms of company structure and content.

"Our mission is to be the most player-focused game company in the world," he says. "And that mission is an aspiration; a thing we know isn't true yet but could be one day.

"We'll always make games. But we also increasingly think that's an outdated way to categorise us. We don't want to be defined by the things we make, we want to be defined by the people we make them for. Put differently, we prefer to think of ourselves not as a games company but as a gamer's company."

That includes expanding the company's content offering outside of games - including a second season of hit Netflix show Arcane - as well as restructuring and hiring new talent.

As a result, Riot is expanding its 'Queue Dodge' system in which new employees can leave in their first six months if unhappy in their role.

Now, that offer has been expanded to the whole company, allowing employees unhappy with the new direction to leave with 25 percent of their base salary, three months of benefits, and full bonuses.

"With our new strategic plan, evolutions to our culture, new compensation and operating models, and new teams in place, we're confident that we're putting Riot in the best position to hit our ambitious goals," Laurent said.

Laurent also acknowledged past sexual harassment controversies at Riot. Recently, the company agreed on a $100m gender discrimination settlement, bringing to a close the class action suit filed by employees back in 2018.

"As we shared with Rioters, three years ago, Riot was at the heart of what became a reckoning in our industry," Laurent continued. "We've come a very long way since then-in our workplace, our processes, and our leadership-and we'll continue that work every day.

"While we're proud of how far we've come since 2018, it's important that we also take responsibility for our past. Given the ambitious goals we have for the future and the tens of millions of dollars we'd spend each year on lawyers to help resolve these cases - money we'd rather pay to the women in the class and to invest in Riot's future - it became clear during these past several months that the best outcome for everyone would be to come to a final resolution.

"To be clear, we aren't asking anyone to forget about this chapter and move on. On the contrary, the lessons we've learned together over the last few years will be a crucial part of the Riot Games origin story."

To rectify this, Laurent highlighted the work of its diversity and inclusion employees.

"Our D&I team is also refining strategies to double-down on their most impactful work. The team (which now includes nine Rioters dedicated to D&I) has added a stronger diversity lens to our performance, compensation, internal surveys, and promotion processes; increased representation in our workforce and products; and accelerated progress in making Riot a great place to work for everyone.

"Going forward, they'll expand their efforts globally, increase their focus on inclusion, and continue working to reach diverse talent and players through our products."

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About the Author

Ed Nightingale avatar

Ed Nightingale

News reporter

Ed is Reporter at Eurogamer, with an interest in streaming, people and communities, and giving a voice to marginalised people.

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