Valorant and League of Legends Maker Riot Games Settles Gender Discrimination Lawsuit for $100M

riot games gender discriminations

Riot Games, the developer behind League of Legends and Valorant, has agreed to a staggering $100 million settlement in a gender discrimination class-action lawsuit.

Root Cause of the Lawsuit

The roots of this legal battle can be traced back to 2018 when the Los Angeles Times and Kotaku reported on Riot Games’ toxic workplace environment rife with allegations of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and misconduct.

The report described a “Bro culture” in the company where women faced unwanted advances, harassment, and a hiring process that favored male candidates.

These revelations sparked outrage and prompted investigations by California state agencies, ultimately leading to the filing of a class-action lawsuit in November 2018 by former employees Melanie McCracken and Jes Negrón.

The Settlement Breakdown

Under the terms of the staggering $100 million settlement, Riot Games will pay $80 million to compensate the members of the class-action lawsuit, with an additional $20 million earmarked for the plaintiffs’ legal fees.

But this financial commitment is just the tip of the iceberg.

The company has pledged to implement comprehensive workplace reforms, which will be monitored by independent evaluators to ensure compliance and progress toward creating a more inclusive and respectful working environment.

Similar Major Lawsuits in the Gaming Industry

In recent years the gaming industry has witnessed many gender discrimination lawsuits that shocked the world. Here are some:

Activision Blizzard (July 2021)

  • In July 2021, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, one of the largest video game companies in the world.
  • The lawsuit alleged that the company fostered a “frat boy” culture and subjected female employees to gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and unequal pay. Activision settles with $18m.

Sony Interactive Entertainment (2021)

  • A former IT security analyst filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against Sony Interactive Entertainment, alleging that she was denied promotions and equal pay due to her gender.
  • The lawsuit also claimed that the company’s leadership tolerated a “boys’ club” culture that marginalized women.

Ubisoft (2020)

  • Several current and former employees accused Ubisoft of fostering a toxic workplace culture that enabled sexual harassment and gender discrimination.
  • The allegations led to the resignation of several high-profile executives, including the company’s chief creative officer.
  • Ubisoft faced multiple lawsuits and investigations in various countries, including France and Canada.

Paradox Interactive (2022)

  • A former employee filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against Paradox Interactive, alleging that the company had a “culture of silence” surrounding harassment and discrimination.
  • The lawsuit claimed that the employee was subjected to inappropriate comments and behavior from male colleagues and was eventually forced to resign due to the hostile work environment.

Twitch (2022)

  • A former product management director at Twitch filed a gender discrimination lawsuit, alleging that she was denied promotions and opportunities due to her gender and pregnancy.
  • The lawsuit also claimed that Twitch’s leadership fostered a “gender-biased” culture that favored male employees.

These lawsuits highlight the ongoing challenges faced by women in the gaming industry, and the need for companies to address systemic issues related to gender discrimination, harassment, and lack of diversity in leadership and decision-making roles.

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