Riot axes development of Twitch streaming rival

Riot axes development of Twitch streaming rival

League of Legends maker Riot Games has stopped work on its Twitch rival.

That's according to Bloomberg, which reports that the initiative – dubbed Riot Esports Network (REN) – has been cancelled. This news comes following Riot cutting around 530 jobs, about 11 per cent of its staff.

“We were testing some watch platform ideas but opted to cancel our initiative REN last week,” the firm's president of esports, John Needham, wrote in a statement.

REN was never officially announced, but last year in a blog post, Needham said that Riot was looking to improve its existing solution for watching esports – – though this was just an embedded player from Twitch or YouTube.

"We’re now developing our watch platform to go even further and evolve it into an advanced commerce platform that we can use to sell digital goods and services directly to our fans through our broadcasts," he wrote.

"Ultimately, we want to combine this commerce capability with everything we know about our players to sell digital goods and services that are valuable to a viewer."

REN was in-part fueled by Riot's acquisition of a startup called Kanga back in 2021.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.