🎮 Riot Settles To Change Course
Over 2,300 female employees and contractors of Riot Games will receive a $100 million settlement from the League of Legends maker following a class action lawsuit claiming systemic sexism and sexual harassment at the company. In 2018, video game publication Kotaku revealed a toxic culture of discriminatory hiring and promoting practices along with widespread sexual harassment in the workplace. Riot initially settled the ensuing class action suit for $10 million in 2019, but the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) blocked the settlement saying a larger sum could be agreed to.
According to The Verge, Riot's new settlement includes terms beyond monetary compensation greater pay transparency and several years of third-party monitoring.
The Bigger Picture
As Riot settles and pledges to change its ways, fellow video game giant Activision Blizzard is embroiled in a similar sexual harassment scandal. Beyond these cases, the entire gaming industry has been grappling with a deeply toxic culture among employees and players alike. A widely publicized incident in 2014 dubbed GamerGate first brought the issue to light, but the industry has been slow to address it.
For an industry that raked in over $85 billion in 2021, while Riot alone made nearly $2 billion in 2020, settlements of the million-dollar variety then dragged over multiple years won't get the attention of corporate leadership—who are the ones that can ultimately change things.