Hot on the heels of announcing plans to head in a somewhat new direction over the next five years, Riot Games has expanded its Queue Dodge buyout program–normally available to new hires during the first six months of their employment–to all employees. In other words, employees who opt to leave the company right now–because they’re not on-board with the CEO’s stated vision, or for whatever reason–are being offered 25 percent of their annual salary, three months of subsidized health benefits, and other advantages, all throughout January.
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All any worker—also known as a Rioter—needs to do to opt into this buyout program is quit. This can be for any reason, but the timing of the Queue Dodge’s expansion suggests it’s primarily intended as a way to weed out folks who don’t think a job with the new Riot is the right fit for them. In particular, Riot is asking people to sign onto the company’s new five-year plan, which CEO Nicolo Laurent outlined on January 11 in a very long blog post. Laurent talked about the company’s goals, its commitment to diversity and inclusion, and a restructuring that’s been taking place for a few years.
“We’re asking Rioters to commit to a Riot where everyone feels supported,” Laurent wrote on the company’s website. “Where ideas get productive feedback, where Rioters ask tough questions in ways that foster healthy dialogue, where we’re all learning and growing from diverse perspectives, and where we’re unapologetically and relentlessly focused on players.”
Speaking to Business Insider, Laurent gave some context for the expanded Queue Dodge while also explaining that the move will position Riot Games for success going forward. Laurent claimed the program’s not about thinning the herd.
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“We’re trying to grow the business,” he told the publication. “We just want to make sure we have the right team of people who are highly motivated.”
Riot’s Queue Dodge buyout program, which takes its name from a term used to describe gamers that leave multiplayer lobbies before a match starts, has existed for quite some time, though it’s typically only available for new employees. Prior to this expansion, the program let Rioters walk away with 10 percent of their annual salary (up to $25,000) as opposed to the current 25 percent. It seems the expansion is temporary and only lasts until the end of January.
We’ve reached out to Riot Games for comment and will update if we hear back.
In addition to the three months of subsidized health benefits and 25 percent of their annual salary, Rioters who opt into the expanded Queue Dodge buyout program will remain eligible to earn a potential employee bonus in March.
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Riot Games recently settled a gender discrimination lawsuit that was levied against the company back in 2018 for $100 million. To be honest, I find it a little strange that the company would compensate people who don’t jive with its outward stance on diversity and inclusion, but I also understand employees needing resources to continue looking for work in the temperamental industry that is video games should their last job not work out for whatever reason. It’s a double-edged sword, this Queue Dodge program, but I suppose I can say I’m all for it as long as those who stay on are actively committed to fixing the racism and sexism that has persisted at the developer for years.
[h/t: PC Gamer]