Riot Games’ Neom esports fiasco came about because people are bad at email

    
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Riot Games’ Neom esports fiasco came about because people are bad at email

At the tail end of July, Riot Games managed to piss off gamers, streamers, esports stars, and its own developers by unilaterally announcing a League of Legends esports partnership with Saudia Arabia and its controversial Neom project. The partnership was terminated within days of its announcement thanks to the uproar as Riot Games backed down and apologized.

But if you were wondering about the processes that allowed such a boneheaded decision was made in the first place, then you’ll be interested in ESPN’s reporting on what Riot is doing to prevent it from recurring. Specifically, it’s putting together a “global deals council and an ethics committee” with members sourced from groups focused on esports, social impact, and inclusion, plus the legal team. According to the leak of the internal Riot call last week, the original Neom decision was made in what appears to be a communication and approval scuffle, hence the need for this new committee.

“In [the Neom] process, a visibility email was sent to Laurent and several executives, but none of them approved or disapproved, leading the business development team responsible to believe it was OK to proceed,” ESPN says. In other words, one of the highest-revenue PC games in the whole world caused a major global public relations crisis because of… bad email practices.

“We’re in the process of reevaluating our internal processes to make sure nothing like this happens again,” a Riot rep said on the record.

Source: ESPN via GIbiz

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Bruno Brito

A company that has issues with toxic culture across the entire building yet the executive team did nothing has a issue with communication between that same team and the rest of the workers?

Shocking. SHOCKING!

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Greaterdivinity

…in what world has a lack of response via email EVER indicated an affirmative?

On the one hand, I can see this as being reasonable given how loosey goosey things are in major companies at that level. Duct tape and bailing wire. But at the same time, color me skeptical that the teams could be so monumentally stupid and these other departments could get involved without a red flag going up somewhere. This almost looks like a “Well, it’s better if we’re viewed as borderline incompetent than outright evil.” approach to crisis management.

Either way, Riot is very deservingly eating another helping of poop sammich and I can’t say I’m sad at all.

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bobfish

There is a strange culture in business of no response in X time frame equals approval. Not sure where it comes from, but have had to get it written into contracts that it is the opposite before.

Probably something thought up to avoid dealing with management/executives decades ago that has stuck around.

Zulika Mi-Nam
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Zulika Mi-Nam

Silence is acceptance….is the phrase I commonly hear.

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Bruno Brito

Either way, Riot is very deservingly eating another helping of poop sammich and I can’t say I’m sad at all.

*chef’s kiss*