Pokemon Go creator Niantic sued for alleged “sexual bias” in the workplace

Chris Studley

An ex-employee of Niantic has sued the Pokemon Go developer for “sexual bias” in the workplace. The former employee alleges she was paid less than a male counterpart even after getting a raise.

The lawsuit against Niantic – creator of Pokemon Go, as well as Pikmin Bloom, Peridot and more – was filed on July 7, and alleges “systemic sexual bias” in the workplace.

As reported by The Verge, the individual alleges that the company created a “boys club” and that she was paid less than a male counterpart, despite her greater responsibilities and position.

Pokemon Go creator Niantic sued by former employee

The employee, who is anonymous, joined Niantic in 2020, but was quickly promoted in “approximately” 2021. However, she learned shortly after the promotion that her male colleague was earning more.

She received a raise to $115,000 in 2023, putting her pay lower than the reported $127,000 the male Niantic employee made a year earlier.

Around this time, the employee, identified as Jane Doe in lawsuit, also learned that she was paid $10,000 less Niantic’s advertised posted for the position. Niantic disclosed the pay range as part of a transparency law that went into effect for employers in California with more than 15 employees.

She brought up the concerns with Niantic’s diversity, equity, and inclusion director and principal people partner. It is claimed that the company and male management were “hostile to her complaints.” The executives in the meeting, according to the former employee, also indicated that her job evaluations were affected by her workplace discussions with other colleagues, and that she was paid less than her colleagues as a result of her raising concerns about wages.

The employee was laid off by the Pokemon Go developer as part of the company’s layoffs in June 2023. Over 230 employees were laid off by Niantic, and development of NBA All-World was shut down, as well as other titles.

This is not the first high-profile lawsuit by employees of major game developers in recent years.

Call of Duty publisher Activision faced a string of lawsuits over sexism in the workplace in 2021 and 2022. PlayStation was hit with a similar lawsuit in 2021.

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About The Author

Chris is a gaming writer for Dexerto who has covered the sports and gaming scenes for over five years. This has led him to become an expert on many sports games, inclduing Madden, NBA 2K, EA Sports FC and more. You can contact Chris at chris.studley@dexerto.com.