It is hopeful that the game industry, which is one of the male-dominated sectors, has to comply with the principles of gender equality. Esports giant Riot Games’ agreeing to pay $100 million in compensation to settle the lawsuit filed against them in 2018 for sexism can also be considered as another victory in this area.
After Activision Blizzard, which has come to the fore with very serious allegations such as sexism and sexual abuse in the past months, now Riot Games are on the news. Company has agreed to pay $ 100 million to close the case.
Riot Games will pay $80 million to a team of at least 2,300 employees as a result of the lawsuit filed by former employees of the company, Melanie McCracken and Jess Negrón, in which Riot Games’ discrimination against women in hiring is the subject of a complaint. The rest of the money is going to fees and expenses.
“Three years ago, Riot was at the heart of what became a reckoning in our industry. We had to face the fact that despite our best intentions, we hadn’t always lived up to our values. As a company we stood at a crossroads; we could deny the shortcomings of our culture, or we could apologize, correct course, and build a better Riot. We chose the latter. We’re incredibly grateful to every Rioter who has worked to create a culture where inclusivity is the norm, where we’re deeply committed to fairness and equality, and where embracing diversity fuels creativity and innovation.”A Riot spokesperson
Riot Games agreed to close the case for $10 million in 2019, but with the intervention of California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), Riot games failed to close the case to that amount. DFEH argued that the damage they have done can only be compensated with much higher amount, namely $400 million.
According to the California Department of Fair Employment, the lawsuit will address offenses against over 1,000 female employees and 1,300 female contract workers. Riot has also pledged to enhance working conditions and make the workplace fairer for female employees and candidates to close the case.
About the situation she was put into, Jessica Negron said that shortly after she was hired, her manager quit and she was left with her manager’s responsibilities but never got a raise or compensation of her job title. Instead, “three men were hired into the role one after another,” without an interview with her despite having spoken to the management on the matter many times, she claims.
From now on, Riot Games will be monitored by a third party for three years. The company’s pledge to better the working conditions for women will be ensured with this monitoring.
In an email to all of the Riot Games employees Monday night, five of the company’s executives addressed the settlement:
“We want to acknowledge that the timing of this announcement isn’t ideal. The final details of the agreement came together quickly, and we wanted you to hear about it from us directly rather than read about it in the news while on break.”Nicolo Laurent
In his email, Nicolo Laurent, CEO of Riot Games also expressed his hope for this settlement to be a point where they “move forward as a united company.”
Hopefully, this settlement will be another milestone in bettering the working conditions for women in the male-dominant game industry.