Riot Games acknowledges employees planning walkout over company culture

    
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It lurks.

Over the weekend, we once again covered the continuing fiasco that is League of Legends’ Riot Games, when as Kotaku first reported, two of the Riot employees who had a filed class-action lawsuit against the studio were being thwarted by the studio, which was seeking to force them into arbitration instead. The lawsuits alleged violations of the California equal pay act and gender discrimination; other suits related to last summer’s sexism scandals are apparently going forward.

But apparently, Riot’s recent moves, coupled with the perception that the studio isn’t moving fast enough on promised internal culture changes, aren’t going over well with its employees, as Waypoint is now reporting that a “core” group of Riot workers have been organizing a walkout. That’s since been confirmed by anonymous workers as well as an internal memo from Riot’s chief diversity officer Angela Roseboro, which was leaked to the publication.

“I know yesterday’s article about Riot’s motion to compel arbitration feels like we’re not moving forward. And I have to say for me, it demonstrates we still have work to do. There are pros, cons, and nuances to the discussion of arbitration, especially given the active litigation against Riot. It can be complex so these types of topics are best discussed live where it’s easier to have a conversation. I encourage all of you to ask as many questions in this Thursday’s Unplugged, and our promise to you is we will be as transparent as we possibly can. We’re also aware there may be an upcoming walkout and recognize some Rioters are not feeling heard. We want to open up a dialogue on Monday and invite Rioters to join us for small group sessions where we can talk through your concerns, and provide as much context as we can about where we’ve landed and why. If you’re interested, please take a moment to add your name to this spreadsheet. We’re planning to keep these sessions smaller so we can have a more candid dialogue.”

Riot CEO Nicolo Laurent has also noted the walkout in his press statement, affirming that he’s “sitting down today with Rioters” and during the weekly town hall.

Source: Waypoint
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Jack Kerras

Hey, check it out!

Shit is happening because people got fucking mad and stayed mad. If all goes well, they’ll stay mad enough to do the walkout anyway, and leave their employer in the lurch.

Nothing quite gets the point across like fucking vanishing all of the value in a company in one day. Big companies keep their doors open and make tons of money by paying folks a tenth of their value; the absolute minimum they must do in response is treat workers like they’re worth something.

Maybe – just maybe! – if massive companies treated all of their employees with basic respect instead of treating big swaths of them like diversity hires whose only job is to make sure they’re in compliance, they’d have a healthier company, produce higher-quality product, and make more money.

I wonder: if everyone at Riot had shrugged and gone ‘Eh, yeah, every bigwig here is kinda awful to women, but what do you expect?’ would we have seen a response like this?

I’m guessing ‘no’, since all of this only began to go down when folks got mad and made a shitload of noise. This is why I bang the drum a lot: don’t shrug, GET MAD, and STAY MAD.

Everyone, in every business, needs to be able to do this. The threat of starvation, dissolution, or death if someone isn’t Pulling Their Weight is a fucking weapon, not an encouragement to work towards a better life, and NO ONE should be grateful to employers who are not consistently, obviously, and materially grateful to them right back.

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Melissa McDonald

Chief Diversity Officer. sigh.

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Utakata

…and that probably comes with all the doublespeak that title bestows. It’s seems to be a growing trend these days for regressive interests to adopt progressive slogans and terms to put forth ideas and policies that would never sell to the public if where stated at face value. Le sigh, indeed. /bleh

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Nathan Aldana

Its how regressives work in general. They believe that you can sell any regressive policy you want so long as you paper it over with buzzwords. Its why so many of them seem to think actual attempts at doing good by the world are lies or grabs for brownie points, because thats the only thing they personally use that terminology for.

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Utakata

Yep. “Make America great again!” tooted by Trumpets, doesn’t mean for all Americans. “Free speech” demands by Alt Right trolls, doesn’t mean free speech for everyone. And “Chief Diversity Officer” doesn’t mean diversity for all their employees. It’s all a ploy to win support both from the clueless, the ignorant and the gullible to make everything just A okay and the /upvotes. /ptptptppp!

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Anton Mochalin

“Over the weekend, we once again covered the continuing fiasco that is League of Legends’ Riot Games” – “fiasco”? Are you serious? #2 top grossing PC game? Where WoW is #10? They are the creators of a legendary game so many people around the world love so much. Yes not everyone likes it there at the workplace. Yes this fact isn’t good for corporate PR.

Well I think they have enough money to pay to their PR consultants to sort this out. And even if their PR consultants won’t do a good job – who cares? Seriously, will even the author of this blog post remember about that “fiasco” in, like, a couple of years?

And last but not least I’m so happy the main market for LoL is China so that they can just not pay too much attention to such things. But blog posts like this one make me want to become a sexist which I’m not.

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Bruno Brito

“Over the weekend, we once again covered the continuing fiasco that is League of Legends’ Riot Games” – “fiasco”? Are you serious? #2 top grossing PC game?

This IS a fiasco, sweetie. You like it or not.

Where WoW is #10?

Relevant how?

They are the creators of a legendary game so many people around the world love so much.

And?

Yes not everyone likes it there at the workplace. Yes this fact isn’t good for corporate PR.

You’re downplaying what this is. Just because the Catholic Church still exists as a institution, doesn’t mean the generalized issue of pedophilia wasn’t a fiasco.

Well I think they have enough money to pay to their PR consultants to sort this out. And even if their PR consultants won’t do a good job – who cares?

Clearly, not you.

Seriously, will even the author of this blog post remember about that “fiasco” in, like, a couple of years?

Considering this is what they do for a living, yes, they will? You also downplay MOP’s staff capability to 1- care about the rank and file of said companies, and 2- source material they have to dig so they can put out the truth. Yeah, they’re humans and can fail, but that has no bearing about what the job entails, and you clearly don’t realize how this works. They don’t have to remember, because the internet itself doesn’t forget it.

And last but not least I’m so happy the main market for LoL is China so that they can just not pay too much attention to such things.

Sound argument right here.

But blog posts like this one make me want to become a sexist which I’m not.

And there we have it. The entire culmination of your post that reeks of denial finishes fittingly at pure denial. You’re not a sexist? But you’re happy that Riot doesn’t pay attention about a massive scandal that involved their CFO, the entire top level structure and people are still in doubts about how far said abuse went?

Get help, “not sexist”. You’re feeling happy for the wrong reasons.

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David Harrison

I’m sure I missed the whole “whats going on” out there, so I really don’t know what has lead up to this situation at Riot. If they are being jerks to their employees, then more power to the employees.

Now that all being said, I had always been told through out my career that it is a major taboo to talk to anyone you work with about how much you make. If you start talking about how much you make with your fellow workers, it always leads to someone getting all [angry]. It’s one of those things you just don’t do because it might be you that ends up being the one upset.

So, I’m curious. How did all these people figure out they were being under paid (if that’s what happened… again I don’t know the story that lead up to this situation)?

Also, if you feel you are being under paid and your employer refuses to listen to your concerns about that, then the best thing to do is find another employer. Staying at a company where there is even the least amount of conflict between yourself and upper management is a recipe for disaster.

You are not a slave to your employer. You are a partner in their business. When things don’t benefit you fully, move on. Trust me when I say they will get rid of you the second that you being there does not benefit them.

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Bruno Brito

You are not a slave to your employer. You are a partner in their business. When things don’t benefit you fully, move on. Trust me when I say they will get rid of you the second that you being there does not benefit them.

While i can agree with this assessment, there’s a HUGE caveat. I can’t speak for America, but i can speak for Brazil:

When you quit a job, you abdicate more than 80% of your rights. If your employer made you work overtime without pay ( a common occurrence here ), without signing your work booklet (i don’t know the name in english. Also a common occurrence here ), or made you work several other functions for any reason ( which can either be a overload of functions on top of your original hired function, or either just you being hired as something and doing something else, which is ALSO a common occurrence here ), you’re eligible for due payments and rights. WHICH YOU ABDICATE IF YOU QUIT.

That’s without mentioning the fct that by quitting, you’re now unemployed with a chance of being unemployed for a irregular ammount of time. It’s not a guarantee you’ll find another work soon, and living isn’t cheap.

Quitting a job is a privilege. People who NEED that money to make ends meet can’t quit, so they graciously put up with the most horrendous abuse. The gaming industry is atrocious at respecting it’s workforce, but it’s not by a mile, the worst industry at this.

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David Harrison

I always find a new job BEFORE I quit my current job. Quitting a job before you have another is only something you do in extreme circumstances.

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Bruno Brito

Still not something easy. Not everyone has the time in their tight schedules for finding another job.

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Nemui Byakko

Well… May be it was not very good idea to choose the name “Riot” for a company, after all :)))

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Utakata

…or their game, LoL? o.O

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PanagiotisLial1

There is a riot brewing in Riot today

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Utakata

I see the usual trol…I mean, rantings of why this is a bad thing and/or this won’t work because of “human nature”, hasn’t raised it’s spamming heads here yet. Not I am trying to instigate that it will…but rather noting it’s refreshing for a change for once. And much to the relief of our burning-the-midnight-oil moderators, no doubt. o.O

MurderHobo
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MurderHobo

Pardon me for being clueless, and please moderate me if I spark something out of line, but I hear Riot and I can’t help but wonder if Ghostcrawler is surfing the job postings at Epic.

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Bruno Brito

Riot acknoledging stuff is irrelevant, but it’s expected they would want to just wait for the hype to die down. Let’s hope it doesn’t.