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Riot Games is offering new unhappy staff cash to quit
Riot Games is offering new unhappy staff cash to quit
June 20, 2014 | By Mike Rose

June 20, 2014 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

League of Legends studio Riot Games is offering new staff the chance to quit with pay if they feel that they are mismatched with the company's culture.

Queue Dodge, as Riot Games is calling the initiative, allows staff who have been with the company for less than 60 days to leave with 10 percent of their annual salary.

"We don’t want to actively push people out or dare them to leave," said the company in a blog post, "but we do want to provide a well-lit, safe exit path."

The idea is that if a staffer finds that they aren't well matched for the company, and they aren't enjoying themselves, then rather than stick around for the paycheck, they can get out, earn some money in the process, and find another job instead.

"If someone gags on the unique flavor of our culture, they’d be doing themselves and the company a disservice to hang on just for the paycheck," Riot explains. "Culturally aligned people and teams are more effective, and alignment around mission and values allows us to better serve players. We’ve designed Queue Dodge to help self-identified mismatches move on in an open, positive, and constructive way."

"We don't know yet how many people might choose to Queue Dodge," it adds, "but we’ll learn from this and make better hiring decisions as a result."

Riot said Queue Dodge was inspired by a similar initiative at online retailer Zappos, which in 2009 started paying employees $2,000 if they wanted to leave the company.

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Dylan Schneider
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What kind of "culture" is this referring to, exactly? Because it sounds like "we don't want to create a safe, inclusive culture so we will pay you to shut up and leave if you feel offended", but I don't want to get the wrong impression.

Aaron Dave
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Have you ever been in a situation where you found someone that loved a game as much as you do and then began to gush about it? I think it's something on those lines and I can easily see how outsiders could feel alienated in such a community, not because such a community would be bad but because of the difference in interests.

But I might be wrong, who knows?

Michael Hackl
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Can you create a culture to fit everyone? Some might like freedom, some might like strict rules. Some traditionalists could be uncomfortable in a perfectly inclusive culture. They wouldn't tell anyone, because you can't argue against inclusivity, but they'd create problems.

or, like Howard Moskowitz could have stated: You had been looking for the perfect culture. You're wrong. You should be looking for the perfect cultures.

Michael Joseph
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@Dylan Schneider
Just going from their webpage where this is announced, i think they are doing at least two things:
1) Encouraging people to find out more about Riot's culture and drawing attention to their philosophy of "people first" so that other companies might follow their example.

2) letting high quality talent know that Riot is a world class employer and a place they shouldn't overlook if they're thinking of moving on from their current positions elsewhere. "Job Satisfaction Guaranteed or We'll Pay You To Quit"

At the end of the page they say "We want to make sure that [people] are here for more than just a paycheck." And so I hope that comes with the sentiment "because we are offering you more than just another job making safe, uninspired, highly derivative, exploitative, games..."

so watch out for Riot... they may have some big plans...

Albert Thornton
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The fact that an adult is using the phrase "safe inclusive culture" indicates how ridiculous our society has become.

It's a job. It's not their role in life to make you feel like a precious snowflake.

Katy Smith
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How can someone be against "safe inclusive culture"? It seems like that should be the minimum requirement for a job...

Benjy Davo
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Exactly guys it is impossible to make an environment that suits everyone.

After getting my art skills up on the mod scene and doing courses, I worked freelance whilst doing non gaming jobs . All I ever wanted was a full time gig and eventually it came at a reputable British game company who will remain nameless as I don't want to seem like I am bitching. So I started and at first was just happy to be working in a professional environment instead of freelance work as and when.

One year in I started to realise I wasn't happy. I'm a hard working person who even on the freelance front has worked 60 hour weeks and did a two year stint as a police officer where I did those kind of hours anyway. But I was sometimes doing 70+ hours a week without warning with no overtime pay. There was little to no stability as it felt like our jobs were being evaluated every 6 months. The project leads changed twice during development and there was little communication of what was going on from the top. We shipped and I actually stayed there for 3 years but it eventually ground me down. I eventually left for a non gaming software job, reason being as colleagues told me this was the norm and there was worse.

Funny thing is some people were legitimately happy where we were and since working freelance i have communicated with devs who work for a company I have done some art for and they work in slightly worse conditions for less pay and they love the project.

I think that it depends on the person and the project. Personally i have young children and want a life outside of work so I am happy with my run in the business. But for somebody who is all career career career and loves the game they are working on, that attitude probably seems lame.

Joshua Darlington
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How much does paying unemployment cost if you fire some one? Vs. How much you have to pay out if you nudge some one to quit with carrots and sticks?

Kale Menges
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That could definitely be a factor, but I don't think they have to pay very much unemployment on employees who've only been there for 60 days.

Daniel Gutierrez
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Unhappy employees are generally not that productive. Firing someone is verrrrrry difficult though, since you either
a) Lay them off, admitting it was a business mistake and paying them their severance package (many times multiple months of salary, longest I've seen with friends is 6 months, shortest is 1 month)
b) Fire them, in which case you need to find "cause". This is incredibly difficult for most employees, and opens you up to lawsuit if you don't find a good cause. Usually this option is reserved for someone caught stealing or other crimes that are fairly black and white.

Most likely people taking this offer end up about the same as if they get laid off, except less time is wasted. Generally these types of agreements require an NDA to be signed on the way out where you never talk about your experience.

Russell Flowers
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How much will they give me to not even apply?

Mike Kasprzak
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Aww, you inquired about it. You get the best rate is for not even thinking about it. The trick though is collecting, which you need to somehow do without realizing you're doing it, otherwise the rate changes *snap* like that.

Lincoln Li
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this basically a form of bribery? :P