Riot Games—the whole studio—is taking next week off. The company announced today that the week of August 10 will be used “to disconnect, recharge, and reboot,” and as a result, timelines for some patches and launches will have to be jiggled around a bit.
“This has been a big year for Riot for a lot of reasons. Putting the ‘s’ in Riot Games was perhaps our proudest moment as a company so far, but tending to so many new games is a delicate balance. Add COVID-19, working from home, and everything else going on in the world, and it can be hard to separate the ‘work’ and ‘life’ pieces of the work-life equation,” Riot wrote.
“As game developers, we’re all hyper aware of the effects of crunch and project-based deadlines. We owe it to ourselves and to you to prioritize our health as a team (well, many teams) so we can bring you new experiences long into the future.”
Riot has faced considerable criticism in the past about its treatment of employees, which led to an employee walkout and an investigation by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing in 2019, and so some may see this high-visibility shutdown as part of a push to rehabilitate the company’s public image. Personally, I’m not too hung up on that possibility if it means that employees get a meaningful break, and especially if it’s established as a regular, ongoing ritual.