What just happened? Riot Games, the developer behind incredibly popular MOBA League of Legends, has settled a class-action lawsuit over gender discrimination that will see it pay $10 million to current and former female employees.
Back in 2018, two women who had worked at the studio sued the company, alleging that they had to endure sexual harassment and gender discrimination. The suit also described how women were paid less than men in the same or similar positions, and how the workplace turned a blind eye to "crotch grabbing," "phantom humping" and "hot girl" lists.
A Kotaku investigation first unveiled the rampant sexism at Riot Games, where there was a “bro” office culture that sometimes encouraged harassment.
A few months after the lawsuit was filed, Riot tried to force the two women into legal arbitration, which resulted in a walkout by over 150 company employees early this year.
Riot Games, which is owned by Chinese giant Tencent, settled the class-action suit in August, with the details only now being released. The Los Angeles Times notes that around 1,000 women who worked there between November 2014 and until the date the settlement is finalized will be compensated.
According to court documents, class representatives Jessica Negron and Gabriela Downie will each receive $10,000. After other fees are taken out, around $6.2 million will go toward current and former employees, with a minimum of $2,500 for full-time workers and at least $500 for temporary contractors. Most class members should get at least $5,000.
In the settlement documents, Riot Games noted that “a number of significant changes to the corporate culture have been made, including increased transparency and industry-leading diversity and inclusion programs.” The company has also hired a dedicated chief diversity officer.
In a statement to the LA Times, Riot said: "We're pleased to have a proposed settlement to fully resolve the class action lawsuit. The settlement is another important step forward, and demonstrates our commitment to living up to our values and to making Riot an inclusive environment for the industry's best talent."