Worked on this girl for 9 months. Now this new music video comes out and she’s immensely popular, arguably one of the most popular characters in the LoL universe.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m really glad she’s a huge hit, it’s super exciting to see so many people love the character design and the gameplay, and know that I contributed directly and significantly to the behind-the-scenes engineering that makes it all work. It’s validating.
But it’s also so fucking melancholy to know I did so much work and put in so much time for such a shitty company, run by shitty people, and the reward I got for it was unemployment.
I threw a lot into this character. I cried at work. I started getting panic attacks, which I’ve never gotten before. I developed persistent heart palpitations from the daily overwhelming stress and had to go to the hospital (this is true, seriously.) I basically dropped all my friends outside of work. My manager (and his manager!) lied to me constantly to keep me working. They said I was doing a great job but to keep it up. Don’t worry, it’s going to turn out great, and it’ll all be worth it in the end – recognition, a raise, probably a promotion in short order. They promised me the world. When she was finally finished, I didn’t even get to go to the release party, they just walked me out.
I remember a quote from my last day, it sticks out in my mind: “I know you realize this is really hard for me,” my manager said. Yes, in the end, when he awkwardly informed me I didn’t have my dream job anymore – or any job at all – and then stared back at my shell-shocked face, my thousand-yard stare, the only thing he felt was sorry for himself.
She launched with no major bugs and was considered a technical success. Doesn’t matter. Get the fuck out.
I don’t know how I feel. A weird sensation of pride and intense bitterness. I did a good job; at least, I think I did. Unfortunately, internal validation is the only kind I’m going to get.
Look, I get it. Akali is EXTREMELY my type. It’s obvious how much love and care was put into her development. But it makes me furious to see all the free advertising that Riot is getting from people who I thought would know better.
And now? One of the people who is arguably responsible for all that free advertising? Who’s work is undoubtedly making Riot hundreds of thousands of dollars a day? Who was overworked to the point of near breaking? They get nothing. WORSE than the scant bit of credit that most devs can get in a big company like Riot. They got let go.
Fuck Riot Games.
(EDIT, four hours later: when I reblogged this post, OP’s blog was still active, and with a cursory look through their archive, it was pretty clear to me that they were telling the truth.
It’s possible they had posted about Riot over the last year as part of some kind of long-game, but the earnestness of the posts didn’t seem to indicate any kind of deception. Who knows)