Riot Games is going to lay off a significant chunk of its workforce in a move that will shake up League of Legends, Valorant, Project L, and other projects, and will see some efforts effectively canceled.
The publisher announced some major changes to its internal structure that will result in hundreds of jobs being lost. This “refocusing” will see 530 roles eliminated, around 11% of Riot’s workforce. According to a statement on the company’s official blog, none of the core teams for Valorant, League of Legends, Teamfight Tactics, or League of Legends: Wild Rift will be impacted.
Riot stated the changes will see the company more focused on League of Legends, Valorant, Teamfight Tactics, and Wild Rift. Legends of Runeterra will explicitly be impacted by the changes, while games like Project L were also discussed.
Is Legends of Runeterra shutting down?
Legends of Runeterra isn’t going to be shut down but will have deep cuts to its development team, according to a statement by Riot Games.
Executive producer Dave Guskin stated that League of Legends’ card game spin-off has struggled as a business and will be significantly scaled back as a result. It is unclear how many of the developers were laid off, and how many of them may have been diverted to the development of unreleased titles like Project L or expanding Valorant and League of Legends. The remaining Legends of Runeterra team will be focusing on The Path of Champions. This is a PvE, single-player roguelike mode in the game.
“Starting today and continuing over the next few months, we will begin the process of reducing the size and scope of [Legends of Runeterra] to a team that is focused on sustainably making the game you love,” Guskin said in the statement.
Companies have made similar moves with floundering live-service games in the past, but it’s unclear what this might entail. Games like Dota Auto Chess successor Dota Underlords have been functionally abandoned outside of maintaining matchmaking, while Heroes of the Storm received new updates for years after it was scaled back by Blizzard.
Has Project L been canceled after Riot Games layoffs?
Project L is not canceled and the League of Legends fighting game remains in the works at Riot Games. Shortly after laying off hundreds of workers, a video discussing the state of the game was released by Evo:
Test demos of Project L have been held at major fighting game tournaments on a few occasions. Though there were fears regarding the fate of the game, Riot stated it is doubling down on its efforts to finish development. Project L was first announced in 2019 and it has visibly undergone major gameplay overhauls just within the few trailers that have been released. The game features popular League of Legends characters including Ahri, Ekko, Yasuo, and Darius.
It is unclear how many champions will be available in the game at launch. Project L does not have a release date.
Riot Forge is coming to an end
Riot Games will no longer serve as a publisher for League of Legends spin-off games, and Riot Forge is set to close. While Riot’s own upcoming games like Project L are said to be unaffected by the layoffs, it’s unknown if other games may have been canceled due to this restructuring.
After six games, Riot is putting an end to Riot Forge. This “label” saw Riot partner with independent studios to develop games within the Runeterra universe. This started in 2021 with turn-based RPG Ruined King and infinite runner Hextech Mayhem, both of which were subtitled “A League of Legends Story.”
2023 saw the release of three games by Riot Forge; The Mageseeker, Song of Nunu, and Convergence. Each title featured different regions of Runeterra and familiar characters. The games received generally strong reviews, but none of them made a significant commercial splash.
Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story will be the final game by Riot Forge. This title is a crafting RPG set in Bandle City, home of the Yordle species. The game is set to come out in February and will be available for PC and Nintendo Switch.