- Riot Games update19 days ago
The first ever Riot Games API Challenge started today. Contestants have two weeks to make something cool. There are prizes of course, but warrior coders know truer satisfaction lies in crushing your enemies, seeing them driven before you, and hearing the lamentations of their debuggers.
We aspire to be the most player-focused game company in the world. Riot Games was established in 2006 by a couple of entrepreneurial gamers who believe player-focused game development can result in awesome games. In 2009, we released our debut title, League of Legends, to critical and player acclaim. Over 67 million play every month.
We know players form the foundation of our community and it’s for them that we continue to evolve and improve the League of Legends experience.
WHERE WE PLAY
Riot Games’ HQ is based in sunny Santa Monica, California, but we’ve got 15 offices across the globe. Our international teams ensure that player experiences aren’t lost in translation - no matter your latitude and longitude, you’re still a Rioter.
We work in a collaborative, fast-paced and learning-rich environment with a veteran development team anchored by accomplished leaders in engineering, design, art, publishing and more. We don't believe in micro-management - Rioters have lots of room to manage themselves, and teams of Rioters operate with tons of freedom to unleash their creativity.
Let’s be real about the pace of life at Riot. Rioters work hard. That’s because constantly delighting and earning player trust is hard work. And it’s also because Riot’s an unabashed meritocracy -- where professional competence, quality of craft, and ultimate delivery of extraordinary results matter a great deal. Rewards and recognition are allocated based on performance, not seniority, likability, or anything else.
So we work hard. But not stupid hard. Healthy professional careers are built sustainably. Crushing it for a month or a quarter and then burning out isn’t healthy. We expect everyone at Riot to establish a high-performance pace that they can comfortably sustain for years. And we expect Rioters to take advantage of our open PTO policy (see “Our Benefits” section) to relax, recharge, and reinvigorate .
Riot's a global company – in addition to the Santa Monica headquarters (located just minutes from the beach), we've got outposts in Berlin, Brighton, Mexico City, Dublin, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Moscow, New York, St. Louis, São Paulo, Seoul, Sydney, Taipei and Tokyo.
Our goal is to become the most player-focused company in the world. With this mission in mind, we develop high-quality games and services enjoyed by tens of millions of players around the world.
To help ensure that every hire is truly onboard and aligned with our mission to serve players, we rigorously screen every candidate not just for skill and experience but also for cultural fit. To this end, we also offer new hires cash to quit -- because we want everyone here to be really bought in to our mission and values.
We also take play seriously. For us, it’s never "just a game." We play lots of games, especially our own. Everyone’s first day at Riot begins with a play test. We try to make it a daily habit. Although we’re serious professionals, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Whether it’s memes in presentations, squirt guns at Show & Tell, or the PC Bangs built into the heart of new offices, we make time for play and fun.
At our core, we're a group of passionate people who embrace new challenges, thrive in finding smart, out-of-the-box solutions, sometimes lose things , and love League of Legends and this industry. If this sounds like a team you'd like to be a part of, check out our job openings in Santa Monica, Berlin, Brighton, Mexico City, Dublin, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Moscow, New York, St. Louis, São Paulo, Seoul, Sydney and Taipei.
As we focus on creating the best player experiences, we also strive to create a place where Rioters will thrive. Here are a few of the benefits for Rioters in Santa Monica:
- Highly competitive salary
- Choice between four subsidized HMO and PPO medical insurance plans
- Subsidized vision insurance plan
- PPO dental insurance plan
- Benefits coverage for domestic partners
- Matching 401k
- Short term and long term disability insurance
- Life insurance (free basic life insurance, plus voluntary life insurance)
- Subsidized on-campus gym
PERKS BEYOND THE NORM
- Open PTO
- Flexible hours
- Subsidized dinners
- All-company “Show and Tells”, "Taste the Riot" fairs and "Thunderdome" hackathons (infused with adult beverages)
- On-site PC Bang
- Annual Riot Play Fund
- Daily League of Legends play tests
- Free cereal, fresh fruit, snacks, tea and fresh ground coffee; sodas and ice cream novelties for a quarter
- Ongoing education and training through Riot U
- Top-of-the-line computers and peripherals
- Weekly visits from certified masseuses
- Submit your champion ideas directly to the dudes and dudettes who make 'em real
- Riot Games and League of Legends apparel and promotional items
It's Riot Games, Inc., policy to provide equal employment opportunity for all applicants and members of the Riot team. Riot doesn't unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, veteran status, marital status, or any other category protected by applicable federal and state law. Riot also makes reasonable accommodations for handicapped and disabled Rioters.
We're stoked to share our plan for the 2015 internship program launching on September 2. We realized in previous years that our later deadlines might've missed a group of skilled tech, art, and grad students who needed to nail down their internships earlier in the academic year. So this year we’re accommodating for those programs with earlier deadlines for a few teams. Stay tuned to this page - we'll share more when we open applications on September 2.
In the meantime, if you're an ambitious undergrad or grad student who shares our passion for games (especially League of Legends) and are eager to get into scrapes with challenging work, think about spending your summer with us.
Read this page to get informed and to see the list of teams that are hosting interns this summer. Each hosting team will supply its interns with meaty projects, honest mentorship and lots of opportunities to get to know Riot Games overall. Interns will playtest new champions and features, gain first-hand experience serving on the front lines of player support, attend leadership seminars and industry education via Riot U, and enjoy events with the rest of Riot including Show and Tell, Riot Rumble, LoL skills training and early new movie screenings.
Check out Riot's internship page for more info about Summer 2015 NA internships, deets on the application process and answers to frequently asked questions - this'll help you prepare for this year's application period.
If you're a student in Europe, you can find details about internships at Riot Dublin here.
HOW TO APPLY:
Every application must include a cover letter, your resume, your summoner name and level. In your application pitch, share why you’re interested in Riot, what you want to learn and what we can learn from you. Help us understand why you're right for the internship you're interested in by sharing what you've done that's truly above and beyond. For example, if you're an artist, slay us with your killer portfolio. If you're an engineer, show us code you wrote from that project that got you the A+. If you see Game Design in your future, maybe a carefully crafted, well-argued analysis of a current League of Legends design challenge is the way to our hearts. There are 99 ways to impress us, but an average pitch ain't one. Most internships also have a team-specific assessment, so be sure you complete these as well. Last year, we received more than 5,500 applications for 39 internship spots, so make sure yours stands out.
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- Featured Review
- Comp & Benefits
- Work/Life Balance
- Senior Management
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
I have been working at Riot Games full-time (more than 3 years)RecommendsPositive OutlookApproves of CEORecommendsPositive OutlookApproves of CEO
I'm not sure how to break this down into a simple list of pros and cons. Everything about Riot is dual-edged and requires consistent grounding to maintain realistic perspectives. If I could summarize, Rioters are given great power. "And with great power comes great responsibility."
Riot believes in its cultural manifesto. Culture drives everything, but it's not as simple as reading and consenting to the manifesto. Riot culture is a mirror through which Rioters reflect on whether we're winning or losing both as a company and as individuals, and it requires ongoing introspection even after years of working here.
Riot has lots of perks. Free meals, parties, international trips, lots of swag, relaxed work environment, flexible hours, unlimited PTO, time allotted to play games, playfund (they will pay for you to buy games), etc. Riot takes good care of its employees and strives to create a work environment that is fun and challenging. Many on the outside accidentally mistake this for culture. It isn't. Culture is the set of shared values we can agree upon as being important to us and describing who we aspire to be.
During the interview process, candidates are screened not only on their raw qualifications (what have they accomplished, can they perform the job function), but on whether they demonstrate clear alignment with Riot's cultural values. Yearly 360-Reviews break feedback down into categories aligned with the cultural manifesto. A large portion of Riot's senior leadership is focused on how to make sure Riot's culture remains intact as the organization continues to grow globally. This has some interesting manifestations as it comes to hiring and career growth.
- Culture is prized more than raw technical ability in a hire. A candidate may be intellectually brilliant or driven, but will not make it through if they seem to lack humility or a default orientation toward succeeding as a team versus as an individual. I have witnessed any number of amazing engineers either be passed over as a hire or leave the company because at the end of the day they valued building awesome technology more than they valued how that technology was creating better experiences for the player. This is neither a pro nor a con, but it is a reality that potential Rioters should understand and keep in mind.
- Promotion and career progression are disconnected from how "hard" one works, who they know, or one's particular work quality (unless that quality is sub-par). It's mostly a function of one's demonstrated ability to force-multiply; to help their team or other teams to accomplish more and to drive new ways to approaching problems. "Senior" individuals are not looked at as merely having greater expertise than their peers or having higher throughput. They're primarily viewed as people who are able to create an environment or atmosphere that removes obstacles and makes their peers feel empowered. Thus, longevity or delivery on mere quantity of features doesn't play well for advancement.
- Everything is done as part of a team. Lone-wolves, no matter how brilliant, will not succeed long term. Individual contributors are not highly valued unless they are also helping to level up the rest of their peers. Individual quantity, throughput, or flashes of brilliance don't really make up for failure in this regard.
- Internal advancement to senior leadership is primarily achieved through challenging convention - championing some new idea or problem space - and being able to rally a team around it. Waiting for a new department to have an open leadership slot is not very effective. Most senior leaders I've observed that weren't external hires were folks who identified a problem space they cared about passionately, were able to rally others around around it, and ended up proposing and creating the team/department from wholecloth.
- Management will generally not tell you what to do. This is good for the type of people Riot wants to attract, not so good for those who are fundamentally task-oriented. Leaders at Riot want to clarify goals and expectations, but unless you're an associate level, they don't want to tell you what to do or how to do it. They generally expect that Rioters are capable of thinking for themselves and understand when to reach out to their teammates or leaders for alignment or help. But individual Rioters are expected to own this themselves and figure out what needs to be done. This can be empowering much of the time, but also frustrating when a Rioter lacks clarity and doesn't understand how to seek it.
Lastly, on the positive side, Riot's culture of open feedback has created an environment where everything mentioned in this review (both in pros here and the cons below) can be (and are regularly) discussed openly. Riot isn't a perfect organization - it's made of human beings after all - but it is an organization that craves feedback and opportunities to learn how to be better all the time.
Same with the pros above, I don't consider these purely negative, but they do present some challenges. Most of these center on how Rioters communicate effectively as the scale of the company increases.
- Hiring feels SLOW. The need to maintain Riot culture in addition to finding highly qualified candidates can make it feel like you're constantly searching for a unicorn. It's super important to find cultural fits. But if your team needs to hire 5 people to succeed, get ready to feel like you're short on resources for the next year.
- Immature communication channels. Riot is gradually figuring out how to manage team interactions as the company grows across multiple offices, but this can often be painful. There is still some startup mentality where people think they can just call folks into a room/meeting and everyone will be on the same page. This can sometimes lead to a sense that you need to be "in the room" in order to have your opinion matter.
- Too many recurring meetings. As Riot grows and it becomes harder to have casual face-to-face conversations with all stakeholders, lots of folks try to schedule meetings as a replacement. These drain the productive juices out of many participants. Be prepared to push back on any meeting invite that doesn't have a set, clear agenda. They will try to take over your calendar.
- Weak meeting facilitation. Riot prides itself on being a flat organization. Bosses don't dominate the discussion and all Rioters are encouraged to participate. Riot tries to create a meritocratic environment for surfacing ideas in meetings, where anyone is encouraged to speak up at any time. But without strong facilitation, this often leads to people who are willing to interrupt or those whose style is to "think out loud" to be the majority of the voice that gets heard. This has led to an impression among many that when it comes to getting your vision across at Riot, only alpha personalities are valued. This is an unfortunate (and inaccurate) perception, but it's not helped by lack of strong facilitation during meetings. Riot needs to learn stronger facilitation techniques in order to maintain meritocratic interactions without accidentally promoting a culture that values "waiting to talk" over listening. Be prepared to exercise patience here.
- Side-effects of a strong culture of ownership. Usually this is a great thing, as it encourages teams to take responsibility for what they create end-to-end without pointing fingers when they assumed another team would handle something for them. But a side effect one will notice over time is that some teams come to believe they own an entire type of problem space for the company and can become territorial when other teams start to tread in their domain. This is something management seems sort of aware of and is gradually dealing with over time, but it can be a pain point. People who excel at inter-team collaboration and relationship building will be most effective under these circumstances.
- Individual Rioters are responsible for maintaining their own work/life balance. This is a positive in principle, but I think the company could do more to arm new Rioters with some practical tools & techniques. Nobody makes you stay late or work weekends, but it's very easy to fall into doing that at Riot if you don't make a conscious effort to stay on top of it.
Advice to Management
Keep the strong focus on culture as the company continues to grow. Do more to articulate this externally with prospective hires. Riot culture is something with a lot of nuance, and many potential hires are coming into this with little understanding of how Riot actually thinks about its own values.
Riot places a lot of emphasis on leadership and cultivating leadership qualities. Start to place equal emphasis on communications and facilitation as the company grows in order to allow leadership and teams to scale, and to ensure all Rioters feel they have adequate venues to contribute their ideas.
Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
- Declined OfferNeutral ExperienceDifficult InterviewDeclined OfferNeutral ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online. The process took 3+ months – interviewed at Riot Games.
3 phone interviews and a super day (5 interviews, including lunch). Be prepared to answer some technical questions about the role you're applying for. They really expect you to know your stuff. Questions vary between your experience, and how you'd react in certain situations, as well as case studies. Feels casual, but they definitely have a list of questions in front of them that you need to answer impressively. They didn't take much time to get to know me - each interviewer went straight into the questions. Make sure you're prepared and in a quiet environment!
We were established in 2006 by a couple of entrepreneurial gamers who believe player-focused game development can result in awesome games. In 2009, we released our debut title, League of Legends, to critical and player acclaim. Over 67 million play every month. We know players form the foundation of our community and it’s for them that we continue to evolve and improve the...
Mission: Riot aspires to be the most player-focused company in the world.