Riot MMO’s principal game designer steps down in what former Riot dev calls ‘a natural part of the life cycle of a game dev’


The MMORPG that Riot is developing has apparently lost another member of its senior staff. Justin “Xenogenic” Hanson announced his departure from Riot this past Friday for an unexplained new opportunity. “Very sad to be leaving, on the one hand, yet excited for a new adventure on the other,” Hanson writes. “The MMO team is absolutely world-class. It’s been such an honor to be able to be a part of it.”

Readers will remember that the untitled MMO lost its lead dev in the form of Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street at the beginning of March while one of the studio’s execs promised development of the project would push onward.

Further context about why game devs shuffle around when they do was offered by Candace Thomas, a former Riot dev herself and current designer for mobile studio Supercell. In the thread, she recounts her own game development journey from barely making any money while living in Southern California to being financially independent enough that she could reach for some major career goals.

Additionally, she affirms that Riot is supportive of developer growth and hires “the crème de la crème of the game industry,” which in turn means the studio understands that top talent is empowered enough to leap to newer ventures – even if they’re riskier ones.

“So many people have founded startups after working at Riot. This is the natural price you pay for hiring top talent. They know this, and they are super supportive of your growth. […] This is a natural part of the lifecycle of a game dev. And it’s the cost of hiring the best. No matter how well you pay them, they may just want to try something new.”

Even so, some aren’t quite so mollified by Thomas’ explanation, with some followers of the project assuming the worst of the game’s dev cycle, the current state of its team, or the end product – assuming it even arrives to that point. Ultimately time will tell, but all that’s known for now is another main dev’s seat sits empty.

source: Twitter (1, 2) via Reddit
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