Before the Activision-Blizzard sexual harassment and discrimination scandal blew up last year, the games industry was fixed on the 2018 Riot Games sexual harassment and discrimination scandal, which culminated in multiple lawsuits, one of which was finally settled back in December when Riot Games agreed to pay $100M to the victims of its toxic culture and retaliatory business practices.
Now, the settlement has been fully approved by the court in California; it will divide payments between over 2000 women and contractors who worked for Riot from 2014 onward, with some receiving “10s of thousands of dollars.” The settlement also requires Riot to hire into permanent positions a number of its existing female temp workers across multiple divisions, as well as implement multiple years of oversight and independent monitoring of pay disparity within the company. (Indeed, these remedies are not unlike what Activision-Blizzard workers have been agitating for at Activision-Blizzard, but those workers have thus far been rebuffed.)
Axios calls the win for the California DFEH “at least a partial vindication” for its “aggressive strategy against big tech” on behalf of victims of workplace discrimination. Last spring, no less than the governor of California was accused of interfering in the lawsuit against Activision-Blizzard on the company’s behalf when he abruptly fired one of the state attorneys on the case, leading to resignations, whistleblowing, and claims of political corruption.