In case you somehow didn’t hear the news, Riot Games first got people’s attention when Kotaku released a report detailing the deeply sexist and troubling culture that apparently permeated through the studio. While they mentioned many things – sexual harassment and assault, bro culture, obnoxious leadership, gender discrimination, unequal pay, and more – Riot only owned up to some of the problems, perhaps knowing it would be impossible to keep the lid on this controversy now that the pot was boiling.
Riot promised to get better, but they did not. A few half-assed efforts didn’t mean a whole lot when the people responsible didn’t face any repercussions for their actions and the women who came forward were forced to settle their issues out of court, despite the loud and active protest of their other employees. The DFEH, it seems, has been involved for a while, but they’re only now going forward with this investigation enforcement suit because riot has, and I quote, “refused to provide the department with adequate information for DFEH to analyze”, specifically when referring to unequal pay accusations.
Riot Games has since responded to Kotaku, who broke the news, but I think we all know what it will say:
“We’ve been in active conversations with the DFEH since its inquiry began. Investigations like this can arise when there have been allegations of workplace disparity and we’ve been cooperating in good faith with the DFEH to address its concerns. During this time, we’ve promptly responded to the DFEH’s requests, and have produced over 2,500 pages of documents and several thousand lines of pay data so far. We’ve also made several recent requests that the DFEH participate in a call with us to address their requests. To date, these requests have been unanswered, so we’re frankly disappointed to see the DFEH issue a press release alleging that we’ve been non-cooperative. We’re confident that we’ve made substantial progress on diversity, inclusion, and company culture, and look forward to continue demonstrating this to the DFEH.”
I’d like to say it’s hard to know how this will turn out, but considering how Riot Games has been doing so far… I don’t think it’ll end well for them.
Or at least, I hope it doesn’t.