Riot Games, the team behind the massive MOBA League of Legends, has a new development, and it’s not a new game. The controversy over this “cultural” malfeasance began following an investigative report by Kotaku in August 2018. The report alleged an extremely toxic culture and work atmosphere choked by sexism, harassment and retaliation against those who complained.
Then a few months later in May, more than 150 Riot Games employees walked out of their offices in Los Angeles. This kicked off a series of public disputes and ultimately led to a lawsuit based on gender discrimination and an alleged sexist culture at the developer, one in which many female employees felt harassed or unsafe.
Now, that lawsuit appears to have had some impact, as the plaintiffs have announced that “…we’ve come to an agreement in principle to settle the class action lawsuit against Riot.”
Riot themselves have apparently looked into the issues of sexism being alleged in the suit and found that “…gender discrimination (in pay or promotion), sexual harassment, and retaliation are not systemic issues at Riot.” How true this is remains up for debate, and since we don’t know the specifics of the suit or the incoming settlement, it remains unclear as to what the fallout will be.
“The many Riot employees who spoke up, including the plaintiffs, significantly helped to change the culture at Riot. This is a clear indication that Riot is dedicated to making progress in evolving its culture and employment practices,” added Ryan Saba of the law firm Rosen Saba.
Riot themselves further contest that sexism isn’t directly to blame here, saying that constant discussions of the surrounding issues have led to a downtrodden workforce, saying “…we’ve encountered considerable fatigue among Rioters, who have been drained by constant engagement with the internal and external dialogues emerging from these lawsuits and recurring media cycles.”
You should read the full statement from Riot if you want more, it’s quite the piece. Given the dismissal of the issues at hand though that’s plain to see, you could be forgiven for not wanting to.