A Dispute Within Riot Games Has Put Everything on the Ropes for the Company.
Reports are surfacing of employees departing the company, sexism, and a fight with their parent company.
Riot Games also has a declining budget which is just the beginning of the claims against the eSports organizing company.
Reports of Riot Games locking comments on their forums concerning the topic is also a troubling sign. Through Reddit, in the r/leagueoflegends thread, a Redditor found a post containing a post from FearGorm.
FearGorm is the global eSports events lead for Riot Games.
The first question on the thread is about Riot cutting back their budget on eSports. FearGorm responded by saying that the company spends way over $100 million annually on eSports worldwide, and have been for the last few years.
“We’ve invested a ton into esports since we started hosting Worlds in 2011 and costs have increased dramatically since then.
we’ve looked for ways to create more awesome local leagues and international events.”
“We’re ok with costs continuing to be high, because we think the value esports provides to everyone who plays League of Legends is worth it,” FearGorm continued. “But we don’t want to continue to be in startup mode. We’re now a mature business and costs need to be more in line with revenue in the future.”
Riot Isn’t the First to Make Big Budget Cuts
Cutting budgets isn’t uncommon for businesses but the claims around the company are troubling. The fight where the league is blaming the mismanagement on Riot Games’ Director of Esports, Whalen Rozelle according to esportsobserver.com.
From what an LoLesports report pulled up according to the esportsobserver, Rozelle’s presence at Riot coincided with an increasingly political and toxic environment.
In part and according to LoLesports’ report:
“The report in total casts Rozelle as an out-of-touch, in-over-his-head director with little prior experience.
that has led Riot’s esports department into an ineffective and unwelcoming environment.”
Time will tell if these situations can rectify themselves. Or if Tencent, the parent company of Riot, will step in to stop the hemmoraging.
There is also a chance that revenue could pick up over the next three or so years.
The budget cuts for this year are all based on experimentation as this is the second most expensive Worlds since 2017. Working with experimental cuts isn’t the first thing that Riot has to address.
On The Heels of Sexism In the Workplace
As if Riot wasn’t already in hot water, a month ago, Kotaku released a report on the sexist culture portrayed at the company. Shortly after this release, two top employees left the company. And, also at PAX West.
The PAX West panel offered resume feedback, as well as presentations on art design, game production, narrative writing and cosplay. The panel also was in line with the companies focus on female and non-binary aspiring professionals.
Due to the focus of the panel, men were not welcomed to the event, according to the Kotaku report.