Newly appointed Riot Games head of creative development, Greg Street, opens up about allegations of sexist work culture in the company, publicly supporting women who are reporting any form of harassment in the group. Known for the massively popular online multiplayer game League of Legends, Riot Games was launched in 2006. By 2015, Chinese multinational investment group Tencent purchased the company.
Earlier this month, news broke out about the problematic sexist culture at Riot Games after both current and former employees of the company came forward to share their horrible experience while working for the League of Legends' developer. While the company has come out with a statement addressing the issue, and also adding a "diversity and inclusion" page on their official website, Street opts to personally talk about the issue - a well-received move especially since he is better in addressing the situation than Riot Games' rather defensive press release.
In an interview with PC Games N, Street said that he's starting to deal with the problem by “listening to make sure the women on my team and at Riot feel like we hear them, we really understand their point of view, and we understand what they want changed.”
“Some of the episodes mentioned that qualify as harassment or worse are horrible and inexcusable and I would not allow them on my teams. I have fired people for such behavior at Riot and also at Blizzard. It’s a dissatisfying ending to the story because you typically don’t announce why someone is being terminated, and that is particularly true if there is a victim involved that you want to protect. As a leader at Riot, I have to make sure that the rest of the organization doesn’t tolerate it either.”
The company executive also shared that his main concern in this situation is the possibility that "women feel like their ideas are not being heard, or they don’t receive fair pay or opportunities for promotion.” While he admitted that they give League players priority when it comes to hiring, Street promises that Riot Games is “trying to explore new avenues for how we source potential applicants, and while I think it’s challenging to really be good at game development if you don’t love games, we think there are opportunities there to broaden the kind of folks we interview.”
Having previously worked on World of Warcraft at Blizzard, Street was the lead designer on League of Legends before being promoted to his new role as Riot Games' head of creative development just recently. Getting support from someone in the company with the same status as Street is a big deal when it comes to combating these kinds of issues in the workplace. This is especially important when the initial statement from Riot Games, while acknowledging the issue and citing several ways they're trying to deal with the toxic culture, didn't really reassure women and victims that they're supported by the company should they be the subject of any harassment in the workplace.
Source: PC Games N