Riot Games has finally reached a settlement with an ongoing class-action lawsuit associated with pay and gender discrimination at the company. Back in 2018, women at Riot Games banded together and filed this lawsuit against the company following numerous allegations of pay violations, gender discrimination, and sexual harassment. Now, before the case reached trial, Riot has agreed to a $100 million settlement along with a vast number of other changes that will take place at the studio.
Of this $100 million settlement that has now been reached, $80 million will end up being paid out to women who worked at Riot Games starting in November 2014 and extending to the present day. The other $20 million will then end up being paid as legal fees.
Speaking more to the changes that Riot has now agreed to, the studio has announced that a third-party entity will now conduct routine inspections to ensure that pay and other matters at the company will no longer be unfair or discriminated against based on gender. In addition, Riot will be overhauling its hiring process while also being more transparent when it comes to wages as a whole at the company.
"This is a great day for the women of Riot Games – and for women at all video game and tech companies – who deserve a workplace that is free of harassment and discrimination," said attorney Genier Harrison on the announcement of this settlement. "We appreciate Riot's introspection and work since 2018 toward becoming a more diverse and inclusive company, its willingness to take responsibility for its past, and its commitment to fairness and equality in the future. Along with the DFEH and DLSE, the brave women of Riot who carried the torch of justice have achieved a precedent-setting result that stands as a beacon for other women and as a warning that employers had better pay and treat women fairly, or else be held accountable."
"I am so proud to have worked alongside the others towards this resolution for the class members of Riot," said plaintiff Gina Cruz Rivera in an accompanying statement. "To the rest of our industry, keep speaking up and keep pushing for accountability. Your voice matters and together we can make this industry safer and more inclusive for everyone."
Lastly, Riot Games as a company released the following statement on the matter:
"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.
While we're proud of how far we've come since 2018, we must also take responsibility for the past. We hope that this settlement properly acknowledges those who had negative experiences at Riot and demonstrates our desire to lead by example in bringing more accountability and equality to the games industry."