Over the last year, there has been a lot of talk surrounding Riot Games and its internal practices. Allegations of sexism came to light in 2018, which eventually led to several lawsuits, alongside promises from Riot to make management changes. At this point in time, there are five on-going lawsuits against Riot Games for breaching the California Equal Pay Act. Riot attempted to block two of these lawsuits citing a clause in employee contracts. This only added fuel to the fire and now, Riot Games employees are set to stage a ‘walk out' in protest today.
The walk out is tied to Riot employees being unhappy with the studio's leadership and their actions following last year's allegations. Recently, the company's lawyers filed motions to block two on going equal pay lawsuits, stating that the employees signed an arbitration agreement and thus, waived their rights to a jury trial. After that sparked backlash, Riot Games said that future employees would not be required to sign an arbitration agreement, but that doesn't exactly help the situation current and former studio workers are in.
As Kotaku reports, around 100 employees are expected to be participating in the walk out today. This has the knock on effect of being the first time this form of protest has been used at a major gaming studio. Aside from the way these lawsuits are being handled, one source also stated that employees are unhappy as they “haven't seen a single outcome of our diversity and inclusion efforts” in the months following the initial allegations.
After the exposé came out last year, Riot did respond by outlining a new set of company values alongside a roadmap of plans to improve. The studio also went on to hire Angela Roseboro as its first ever chief diversity officer.
While the walk out may be an embarrassing look for Riot, the company has said that it will respect the decisions of those who choose to take part today, as well as those who don't. In fact, managers will be freeing up meeting times and making some schedule changes to accommodate for the 2PM-4PM walk out window.
KitGuru Says: The Riot situation has yet to be resolved, despite the fact that it has been eight months since complaints were first publicised. Perhaps a walk out will help but we'll have to wait and see. What do you all think of the Riot situation? Is walking out in protest a good idea?