What is going on at Riot? (Picture: Twitter)
The LinkedIn profile of an ex-Riot developer suggests the company is working on a new role-playing game, despite having just laid off 530 people.
The LinkedIn profile of one of the affected developers, who was let go by Riot, reveals that the developer is working on a new role-playing game set in the League Of Legends universe.
According to Zoey Wikstrom’s LinkedIn profile she worked as a senior system designer at Riot from 2021 to 2023, where she ‘joined an exciting prototype team working on a third person action role-playing game in Unreal Engine 5.’
Wikstrom described her time in the role as, ‘Designing and prototyping features ranging from roguelike mechanics to daily quests. Additional work included theory crafting a seasonal model, enemy factions, and crafting materials’.
She also said design ideas were being ported from prototype to pre-production in this time, which implies that the game was still moving ahead as she left, and not cancelled.
Before being laid off, Wikstrom took on the role as principal narrative designer at Riot in 2023, where she seems to have been working on the same project, focused on a ‘multiplayer action RPG in Research & Development.’
Wikstrom’s new role consisted of ‘defining what form of content should fill encounters to exploring how to randomise and serve up that content, my time was spent prototyping features that keep gameplay fresh for years to come.’
The new project doesn’t have a public name or presence, but seems to still be in pre-production, given how it’s described on Wikstrom’s LinkedIn profile. If it was cancelled as a result of the layoffs, Wikstrom seems unaware of it.
If it is still going ahead it will only make the layoffs seem more callous, especially given many of the job cuts were made by shutting down the RiotForge Initiative, which worked with indie developers to create League Of Legends spin-offs like Ruined King and Song Of Nunu.
The unnamed new game seems to be bigger than those, and internally developed, but it’s still not a good look for Riot.
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