Riot Games have released on official statement in response to reports of sexism and misogyny in the company.
A report by Kotaku on August 7 alleged rampant sexism within the company, with multiple current and former employees describing examples of sexism and misogyny at a variety of levels.
Among the accusations levelled at the company were that female employees were talked over and their ideas dismissed, despite the same ideas being accepted when later proposed by male colleagues, and were passed up for promotion in favor of male candidates with less experience.
It was also reported that female employees were more rigorously quizzed to prove that they were “gamers” – a label that Riot deemed integral for employees to identify with and which was defined according to what Riot deemed “real games”.
The full picture painted by the 7000+ word report can only be seen by reading the original in its entirety, but it was certainly a damning look at the culture inside a company that has routinely condemned “toxicity” in gaming, going further than perhaps any other developer to identify and punish behaviour in its game it deems inappropriate.
Riot Games has now officially responded to the reports, which were corroborated by further stories once the original broke, apologizing and laying out steps to improve the company atmosphere and culture.
“We will weave this change into our cultural DNA and leave no room for sexism or misogyny. Inclusivity, diversity, respect, and equality are all non-negotiable. While there is much to improve, there is a tremendous amount of good at Riot that will drive this change. This is our top priority until we get it right.”
In the short term, Riot Games plan to revisit the principles behind its internal culture, including how they define a gamer, and will be bringing in external experts to help identify and solve issues. They will also be focusing on educating employees to help foster an inclusive environment.
Riot’s full statement on the matter can be read here.