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Tuesday, Oct 4, 2022

Game Developer Logs In to Santa Monica

Riot Games

Video game developer

Lease: 88,000 square feet at $3.50 a square foot

Location: Yahoo Center, Santa Monica

Riot Games has been hiring employees so quickly that it has gone through four offices in the last five years. Now, the online game developer’s most recent move has brought it to Santa Monica for the first time.

The company moved into an 88,000-square-foot space at the Yahoo Center in May, making it one of the largest tenants in a business park that includes Yahoo Inc. and eHarmony Inc.

Riot most recently operated out of Culver City, but Brandon Beck, the company’s co-founder and chief executive, said he decided to move to a neighborhood known as Silicon Beach in part because a Santa Monica address could help lure new employees.

“We want to attract the best and brightest talent in the industry,” he said. “In order to do that, we need to offer a fantastic environment. It’s good to be in a great part of the city from a recruiting standpoint.”

Not that Riot needs much help hiring. At the beginning of last year, the company had just 75 employees. It now has more than 300 in Los Angeles and an office in Dublin, Ireland.

In fact, Riot has expanded so fast that Beck had to nearly double the size of the company’s five-year lease for 47,000 square feet before even moving in. Represented by UGL Equis, Riot was able to grab the space for $3.50 a square foot.

Riot has been hiring staff for most of its sections, but the company’s largest department is made up of engineers and developers who create content for “League of Legends,” the company’s free-to-play online game. The game draws millions of players and competes with other popular online titles such as “World of Warcraft.”

The company’s new first-floor office has an open, almost loftlike feel. The company has also completed some renovations, building movable walls out of white boards and installing large screens throughout the office to allow Riot employees to have conference calls and to monitor “League of Legends” as gamers play.

Being part of the Yahoo Center also has its perks, including a full gym, restaurants and common areas.

Beck said he was drawn to the building because of its open floor plan with few closed offices or conference rooms.

“The Yahoo Center, in particular, has very large floor plans so we could have a big wide-open office,” he said. “The space is really tailored to the way we operate, with wide-open floor plans that facilitate a lot of communication.”


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