We’re calling a new place home: a campus of our own nestled at the edge of West L.A. As we grow, we continue to learn a lot about what we value in our workplace (collaborative and creative environments) and what we don’t (bunk desking). We put that knowledge to use and since announcing our move back in late 2013, we focused on creating a space that's collaborative, adaptable, and, of course, playful - a space where teams can work how they want to work.
Finding a new home that grows with us requires a bunch of considerations. What’s the transportation situation? How about noms? Do we share space or go solo? Skyscraper or a corporate park? Suburb or city?
In the end, we selected a campus just down the road from our old haunt in Santa Monica and near popular Rioter stomping grounds in West L.A. - we can’t resist the siren call of tasty ramen spots and boba joints. It not only offers a lot more space, but also more flexibility and control over how we use that space. Rioters will also arrive at the office by car, bike, skateboard, foot, and subway (in 2016), allowing more options for the morning commute.
Rioters haven’t fully moved in yet, so here’s a sneak peek at the uncorrupted canvas before the creative chaos. Consider this part one; in a few weeks, we'll dive deeper into how Rioters shape the new campus and make it their own.
Upon entering, Rioters and visitors are greeted with screens displaying player-created art and cosplay, a reminder of the talented and engaged community that brings League and Riot to life. Annie and Tibbers stand guard just past reception, ready to terrify Rioters hanging out late at night.
Inspired by the PC bangs where Korean players log into League, each Riot office holds a dedicated space for play. This is the first and last time we’ll see the PC bang empty at night - it’ll be filled with Rioters getting their game on most hours of the day. Around the corner we can nab tasty snacks from vending machines, the same kind you’d expect in Koreatown; on the other side, we can wax nostalgic with classic arcade games like The Simpsons and Marvel vs. Capcom 2.
Conference rooms sit in the center of our workspaces, so teams aren’t interrupted by Rioters racing to and from meetings. These rooms are named after champions, and a few have added touches to honor their namesakes. Rioters meeting in Jinx sit in chairs upholstered in neon pink and blue faux-fur; furniture in Corki is backed with bolted metal as if scavenged from downed planes; and, Vi’s got a pink punching bag ready for late-night brainstorming sessions.
Meeting rooms and common spaces usually buzz with conversation, debate, and excited post-game chatter, so a mix of open and private spaces allows Rioters to work the way they want. Our desks are only one of the many places we sit down (or stand) to focus. When looking for a quiet place, we can duck into one of nearly 100 breakout rooms, four atriums, or a hidden corner in the quad.
Five mid-century buildings surround a quad filled with drought-friendly plants that sip rather than gulp H2O. Ample seating means no more musical chairs when grabbing grub, meeting outside, or enjoying the weather. Criss-crossing paths allow for walking breaks and one-on-ones, and carved-out nooks are hideaways for us to work and meet. On especially nice days (so, basically every day in L.A.), the buildings’ garage-style doors open up for an injection of fresh air.
Bilgewater Brew’s a unique themed space for Rioters to hang out, meet, and grab some coffee or food. It’s a physical place to get inspired by the worlds we create and one of the few spaces where the League of Legends universe is brought to life so completely that we half expect to bump into Miss Fortune en route for a double (impure) shot of espresso.
A ton of planning went into our new campus, but this is really just the start of the story. We’re putting our new home on PBE. We’ll customize the space to fit our needs: move our desks, throw up Scrum walls, and carve out quiet corners. We’ll continue to evaluate what’s working and what’s not, and just like League, patch as needed.