League of Legends developer Riot Games has responded to claims of toxic workplace culture with a great excuse this morning, a feature recognizing the massive and vocal criticism of current and existing employees who broke out after a survey from Kotaku earlier this month. The excuse comes a day after the former employee and software developer Barry Hawkins posted a personal blog post, one of many appearing in the last three weeks, describing why he left the company after attempting to pick up sexism at Riot.
Kotaku Report Kotaku highlighted how Riot co-workers, leaders and employees promoted a sexist workplace culture that held women from leadership roles, pushed out talented developers and artists, and helped the pervasive gender imbalance in the gaming industry and e- the sports community there League of Legends governs the top. Hawkins' post also described the company's widespread use of rape jokes to describe the recruitment process, including a "no does not mean no" slogan.
"To Rioters, Entrepreneurs, former Rioters, and former entrepreneurs: We're sorry," reads the post. "We're sorry that Riot has not always been ̵
The company says that it will undergo extensive internal evaluations to recalibrate everything from how it defines the word" Gamer "and what the manifesto means for its complaint and harassment investigation process, recruitment, employee training, and diversity and inclusion efforts. This is not the first statement Riot Games has issued a statement on the matter – the company issued statements to Kotaku and other outlets following the first report – but it is the most thorough and final excuse since the saga began.
League of Legends A free multiplayer online match arena game, became one of the most popular games in the world over the past decade, catapulting Riot Games into the top echelon of game studios. It now has more than 2,500 employees in 24 offices around the world and has the enormous economic coupons from China's Tencent, who fully bought the company in 2015. Riot does not only drive Legends League which generated more than $ 2 billion last year, but also owns and drives the extensive global e-sports competitions around the game with strict control over licensing, broadcasting and live events.
Despite the huge success, current and former employees have criticized the company's overall lack of promoting a more mature workplace culture and growing its male-dominated start-up contest. After Kotaku report on August 7, many female game developers and industrial workers opened their experiences in Riot and elsewhere, and the conversation about Riot's poisonous culture only amplified:
Then I wrote one thing about my year at Riot Games and one of the big reasons I went. It has been catartic and very emotionally difficult to write this. But I do not want to be quiet anymore. https://t.co/bYdQpJ2OSY
– Zoë Curnoe (@amazoe) August 20, 2018
[THREAD] The biggest thing that prevents women and LGBTQ people from talking about the game industry's abuse is retaliation.
It is not uncommon for women to fear being kicked to talk or their career destroyed. Most harassers in games are in high places.
– Christian (@MiniWhiteRabbit) August 20, 2018
It is unclear about Hawkins' post yesterday, Riot leadership asked to provide a more definite answer. However, it is likely that the company expects even more stories about toxic and sexist workplace incidents within Riot to come out unless corporate leadership recognized the situation more definitely. In his list of excuses, Riot included players and potential new employees and signaled that they see these accounts and its decreasing reputation as leader in the gaming industry, which potentially has a negative impact on the bottom line and the ability to employ new talent.
"We've always thought Riot should be the home of the very best talent in play," the post said. "It is clear that we have lost that goal. But we have never supported ourselves on a challenge before and we are not planning to start now."