Riot Games Responds to Company Culture Allegations, Shares Plans for Improvement

Riot Games has shared a list of steps it plans on taking to address and correct company culture problems pertaining to sexism, misogyny, and other forms of discrimination that were publicized this month.

Kotaku’s Cecilia D'Anastasio published an extensive report on Aug. 8 that exposed a myriad problems that multiple sources, ranging from former to current Riot Games employees, said are ongoing within the company: discriminatory hiring practices that demanded women who applied prove that they are “real” gamers, aggressive actions centered around a “bro culture” that exists within Riot Games, and allegations of sexual harassment and rape. In the days and weeks following the report, multiple Rioters shared their personal accounts about what the experienced at Riot with many former employees explaining why they left, with Barry Hawkins being one of the most recent to do so.

Riot Games as a whole, however, hasn’t officially said anything about the reports until today, aside from a tweet two days after the initial article was published that said “to listen, we have to be quiet.” Sharing a new post on the League of Legends creator’s site, “Our First Steps Forward,” the article gave some insight into how Riot plans to address the issues brought to light in the Kotaku report.

“For the past three weeks, we’ve been focused on listening and learning,” Riot Games’ article said. “As a company, we’re used to patching problems ASAP, but this patch will not happen overnight. We will weave this change into our cultural DNA and leave no room for sexism or misogyny. Inclusivity, diversity, respect, and equality are all non-negotiable. While there is much to improve, there is a tremendous amount of good at Riot that will drive this change. This is our top priority until we get it right.”

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Breaking down the plans into several steps, the first involved the creation of a new team to “lead cultural evolution.” Language used within Riot Games, “gamer” and “meritocracy” mentioned specifically, will also be reevaluated. The article added that third-party consultants are being brought in to spearhead the culture changes that are planned. The recruiting and investigation processes are also being evaluated, with an anonymous hotline being created to share complaints and a vow that “no one and nothing is sacred” when it comes to taking action against Rioters.

The full plans for Riot Games’ culture change initiative are better read in full here through the company’s site.