League devs confirm Riot layoffs will delay new & reworked champions

Carver Fisher

Riot was hit hard by layoffs earlier this week, with over 500 employees being affected. This extends to developers working on new and reworked champions, and, while Smolder and Skarner are still on schedule, any releases past that will likely end up taking much longer than intended.

The effects of Riot’s layoffs have already been felt far and wide. With artists who have been working on the team for years working on their last splash arts and models to the LEC broadcast running with a ghost crew, anyone who’s a fan of their multiplayer titles is likely aware of the layoffs.

Riot Lexical, League of Legends‘ product manager for champions, has spoken about how these layoffs have affected her and the team working on new and reworked champions.

And, while some upcoming releases aren’t going to be catching delays just yet, future releases will almost certainly be affected, with Lexi commenting that the team will be “shifting timelines”.

Riot layoffs impact League’s development


Reworking old champs and releasing new ones was a process that took a lot of time before layoffs shook Riot Games, let alone after. Reworked or visually updated champions usually require all of the skins to be redone on top of normal dev work, and entirely new champions have their own set of challenges.

With Riot being a bit unclear about who was laid off, with even the employees not knowing when their initial tweet announced that layoffs were coming, it was hard to tell just how many people on the dev team would be affected.

According to an update from Riot Lexical, the team is still trying to figure out the full scope of just how much their development schedule will be affected by the layoffs.

Additionally, she’s confirmed that the team is doing their best to “make sure the announced items will be delivered”, likely referring to Ambessa Medarda’s release and the visual update/rework for an essential Arcane character.

Considering Arcane Season 2 is slated for a November 2024 release, it’s safe to assume the devs would want to get their Arcane-themed content out around that time. However, it isn’t clear if that’ll be possible to hit that deadline with less devs on the team, or if planned content will come out at all.

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