Riot Games CEO Nicolo Laurent has published an article detailing the League of Legends publisher’s five-year plan and future visions.
Within this, he revealed that Riot’s parent company Tencent is giving back partial ownership to staff.
“Our shareholder Tencent agrees with our long-term strategy and is giving back partial ownership of the company to Riot employees,” Nicolo Laurent said in the article looking at the next five years at Riot.
“Going forward, Rioters will have the opportunity to own a portion of the company, along with Tencent, and thus directly participate in the risks and rewards of ownership.
“We’re shooting for the top of a tall mountain and while nothing is guaranteed, we want to make sure everyone who joins us on the climb can share in that potential success if we achieve what we’re hoping for.”
Nicolo also described 2021 as an ‘incredible year’ both for the games industry and for Riot, talking up the company’s 180m+ monthly players, 3,000+ members of staff, the success of League of Legends Netflix show Arcane, Valorant’s first year of esports and more.
He remained tight-lipped on specific projects, but said the next few years would see the launch of new games, Arcane Season 2 “and a bunch of surprises”.
Nicolo spoke of five Riot pillars: Games, Esports, Entertainment (like Arcane), Publishing (delivering a ‘consistent player arc across products’ and Enterprise (which supports Riot as a whole and “makes it as easy as possible to deliver for players”.
He also mentioned Riot’s increased focus on diversity and inclusivity, highlighting Riot Games’ recent $100m gender discrimination lawsuit settlement, and employee care and retention programmes. One initiative, called ‘Queue Dodge’, allows any staff member to leave Riot within their first six months of joining and get paid a portion of their salary as they transition to a different company.
This new Queue Dodge will give Rioters who want to exit an opportunity to do so comfortably, no questions asked. Rioters who choose to Queue Dodge will receive 25% of their base salary with 3 months of COBRA benefits where applicable.
“As we prepare for the next phase of growth, we’re opening Queue Dodge for a limited window for any Rioter, however long they’re been with us,” Nicolo said. “We want every Rioter to feel energised, supported and excited for the next phase of our climb. Rioters who choose to Queue Dodge will receive 25% of their base salary with three months of COBRA benefits where applicable.”
Nicolo also promised not to lose sight of what has made Riot successful so far.
“For anyone reading [about Arcane and our other plans] and are worried we might water down the secret sauce and spread our focus wide, I want to reassure you that’s not the case. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: we’re focusing on depth and not breadth.
“Our focus audience will still be the same narrow one it was back when Brandon and Marc were dreaming up this company in their back-to-back gaming chairs: dedicated players who had been let down by devs leaving them behind to chase the next big thing. We’d sooner shut down the company than ever become that.”
Last year, Riot Games responded to a lawsuit accusing Nicolo of harassment, and a third-party investigation found ‘no evidence of wrongdoing’.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.