The internet is ablaze over an in-depth report at Kotaku that uncovers a “culture of sexism” that is allegedly running rampant through Riot Games. Over two dozen women, both formerly and currently employed by the League of Legends developer, opened up to share their stories of subtle and blatant gender discrimination that weaves its way through Riot’s “bro culture.”
While Riot released a statement for the story claiming that it upholds a “zero tolerance policy on discrimination,” the tales and quotes shared by these employees indicate that at the very least Riot has an unchecked problem going on that needs investigation. The studio is heavily male dominated with 80% of its employees being men and only two of the 23-person senior leadership consisting of women.
“The ‘bro culture’ there is so real,” said one former employee. “It’s agonizingly real. It’s like working at a giant fraternity.” Several women pointed out how they were unfairly passed over for promotions, considered “too emotional” to be taken seriously, and treated as sexual objects. Another issue is that Riot places a great premium on all employees being hardcore gamers, a label that some of these women struggled with convincing the leadership that they were.
Plenty of Riot Games employees have thrown their two cents into the discussion on Twitter, with many affirming the accounts and sexist culture is real, while others claim that they have not experienced any discrimination or sexist encounters during their tenure.
Riot Games released a statement in response to the piece, saying in part, “This article shines a light on areas where we haven’t lived up to our own values, which will not stand at Riot. We’ve taken action against many of the specific instances in the article, and we’re committed to digging in, addressing every issue, and fixing the underlying causes.”