League of Legends studio Riot Games has laid off 46 employees, saying the cuts were made as "strategic shifts within a few teams to sharpen our focus in a number of areas."
"With these shifts, certain roles were eliminated, impacting a total of 46 Rioters," Riot said in a statement sent to PC Gamer. "This is part of our normal course of our business: We periodically make changes to our structure and our teams based on what we believe will allow us to deliver the best content and experiences for players.
"We never make these decisions lightly and will always start from a place of wanting to retain Rioters and have them focus on our highest priorities. While that’s not always possible, it’s our primary goal."
The layoffs, first reported by the Jacob Wolf Report (opens in new tab), represent just 1% of Riot's overall workforce, which currently stands at over 4,500 employees (opens in new tab) in more than 20 offices worldwide. Riot said that most of the layoffs were made in its publishing division, with a small number coming from its recruiting and esports divisions.
Riot also noted that it is still hiring for more than 150 positions at various studios, which might seem a bit odd given that it's simultaneously letting people go. The studio said that while it generally tries to retain and relocate employees, it wasn't possible in this case because of changing "strategic priorities," which leave other, unrelated positions still to be filled.
The cuts at Riot are the latest round of layoffs to hit the gaming and tech industries: Microsoft announced yesterday that it was letting more than 10,000 employees (opens in new tab) go, some of whom would come from game studios including 343 Industries and Bethesda, and CD Projekt (opens in new tab), Coinbase (opens in new tab), Unity (opens in new tab), and Facebook parent Meta (opens in new tab) have also made significant cuts in recent months. French trade union Solidaires Informatique also recently called for a strike at Ubisoft Paris (opens in new tab), accusing Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot of planning "staff reductions, discreet studio closures, salary cuts, [and] disguised layoffs."