Riot Games’ gender discrimination controversy originally occurred in 2018 and, as of December 2021, the company agreed to pay out $100 million to parties affected. Today, it was revealed that over 1,000 women would be receiving a share of that gender discrimination fund, thanks to a report from Axios.
The outlet mentions that the settlement was approved this past Friday, and would come as a four-to-five-figure sum paid out to over 1,000 women in the company. In addition, over 1,000 contractors would also see a payment from Riot in the same fund. This settlement also denotes that Riot has to put measures in place to improve staff treatment going forward. This includes hiring an independent contractor meant to monitor pay disparities and report them to Riot’s higher-ups, who will then have to deal with it accordingly.
In addition, Riot Games is to hire 40 additional qualified women currently working in temporary positions into full-time roles across engineering, art, design, and quality assurance. Jes Negron, one of the lawusit’s plaintiffs and former Riot developer, had some comments for the settlement, saying, “My hope is that this serves as a wake-up call for the whole industry.”
Continuing, Jes said, "We've set a precedent that the sexist behaviour that runs rampant at gaming companies is unacceptable and, when companies are unwilling to address it themselves in a meaningful way, women have options to get justice."
Originally, the settlement was to be a $10 million payment, but California’s Department for Fair Employment and Housing (the DFEH, who you may remember from the Activision Blizzard controversies of last year) pushed further, seeking $400 million in damages. Ultimately, it was agreed to be $100 million, as stated above.
We’ll continue to update as the story develops. In other news, Newzoo has released a new report regarding the video game industry. It seems as if it's going to remain resilient against the possibility of recession thanks to subscription services and F2P models.