Update (10:14pm EST, April 29, 2019): Riot Games provided the following statement regarding the arbitration process:
While we won’t discuss details about ongoing litigation, we look forward to resolving all matters through the appropriate processes.
Our commitment to building and sustaining a world class, inclusive culture at Riot is unchanged and we value everyone who has come forward to help us become a better company. We have acknowledged that there are improvements we can make to our culture and community -- we have made progress and are hyper-focused on continuing to do so. We have been evaluating all of our procedures and policies, including those related to arbitration. All of that work is well underway, and as we move forward, we will not hesitate to implement changes once we have thoughtfully assessed that these changes move us is the right direction for Riot and Rioters.
And in regards to the walkout, Riot said the following:
We’re proud of our colleagues for standing up for what they believe in. We always want Rioters to have the opportunity to be heard, so we’re sitting down today to listen to their opinions and learn more about their perspectives on arbitration. We will also be discussing this topic during our biweekly all-company town hall on Thursday. Both are important forums for us to discuss our current policy and listen to feedback, which are important parts of evaluating all of our procedures and policies, including those related to arbitration.
Original article below:
Staff at Riot Games are planning a walkout, following legal action from former employees that departed after reports of sexism in the workplace. Riot Games is best known for creating and building the ever-popular League of Legends, which is still a juggernaut in the esports scene. Despite the game doing well for the developer, there have been constant accusations aimed at the community surrounding the product. These include claims of severe toxic behavior to the point that it's hard for gamers to break into the title.
While Riot Games has managed this to some success, the company came under fire in summer 2018 for reports of sexism in the workplace. This was then followed in the fall of 2018 by lawsuits from five current and former employees. These reports have now come to a head after senior staff at the company attempted to implement legal restrictions that would bar them from further legal woes surrounding the lawsuits.
As Kotaku reported, these moves took on the form of Riot attempting to push two of the lawsuits with individuals into private arbitration. This would see to it that the cases wouldn't see seen by a jury or even a judge - making it a preferable legal tactic for companies that want to retain as much from the lawsuits as possible. As it turns out, however, this has now prompted employees at Riot to begin planning a walkout on the company to protest the sexism and attempted legal play.
According to an anonymous source for Waypoint, “Talk of a walkout has been brewing among a number of folks with varying levels of investment since Kotaku’s first article hit, and leadership consistently promised transparency/actions to be taken and then did not deliver on that promise.” This would be a major development on the woes surrounding Riot's gender discrimination charges, and it may even cause further harm to the reception of the company and its software - provided that damage hasn't already been felt following the claims.
Talks of the walkout at Riot have prompted the chief diversity officer at the studio, Angela Roseboro, to respond to the threat in the company's private Slack thread. Waypoint was able to obtain the quote from Roseboro from an anonymous source.
“We’re also aware there may be an upcoming walkout and recognize some Rioters are not feeling heard. We want to open up a dialogue on Monday and invite Rioters to join us for small group sessions where we can talk through your concerns, and provide as much context as we can about where we’ve landed and why. If you’re interested, please take a moment to add your name to this spreadsheet. We’re planning to keep these sessions smaller so we can have a more candid dialogue.”
Riot Games has yet to make an official statement on the walkout, but there's sure to be more on this story as it develops. Keeping that in mind, stay tuned to Screen Rant for more information on the walkouts at Riot as the supposed plans continue to be mapped out.