Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends, is once again facing scrutiny. This time, it’s for trying to shut down several employees who are attempting to take legal action against the company.
A potential employee walkout could take place at Riot after the company failed to follow through on several promises, according to a report by Waypoint.
Last summer, Kotaku reported on the studio’s inherent fraternity mindset and overall sexist culture, which led to five current and former employees filing lawsuits based around gender discrimination against Riot.
According to the documents obtained by Kotaku, the argument in place is that the two women faced with a legal shut down “waived their rights to sue the company when they were hired” through arbitration clauses in their contracts. The lawyers working with the former Riot employees have said that they’re going to continue to fight against the company’s “forced arbitration.”
Riot has taken steps to change the culture at its studio by hiring several people to work on the diversity and representation within the company. But if Riot is actively working to shut down two individuals trying to speak out against what’s happening, then all of those moves might be seen as them just doing the bare minimum to put out some of the fire.
“Talk of a walkout has been brewing among a number of folks with varying levels of investment since Kotaku’s first article hit,” an anonymous source said to Waypoint. “And leadership consistently promised transparency/actions to be taken and then did not deliver on that promise.”
In response to the potential walkout, Riot’s chief diversity officer, Angela Roseboro, let employees know that open “small group sessions” would be held to try and clear up some of the concerns and provide context. But this announcement received a lot of backlash from employees.
“When Angela Roseboro offered to schedule focus sessions with people there was backlash because people were frustrated at yet another example of closed-door discussions instead of transparency,” a second anonymous source told Waypoint. “Overall, I think Rioters are sick of feeling like they have no visibility into what leadership is actually doing to improve.”
Waypoint also pointed out that Google had a walkout of more than 3,000 employees after a piece was published by The New York Times about the company’s toxic tendencies.