Riot Games Agrees To Pay $100M Settlement In Gender Discrimination Suit

Riot Games announced Monday that it has agreed to pay a sum of $100 million to settle a 2018 gender-based discrimination class-action suit with former women employees and California state agencies.

Riot GamesPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

The gaming giant, owned by Tencent Holdings, said it will pay $80 million to more than over 2,300 members of the class-action suit. The class is comprised of all current and former full-time women employees and temporary agency contractors in the state of California who were employed from November 2014 to present.

Riot Games also noted that an additional $20 million will go towards attorneys’ fees and other miscellaneous expenses.

“In an effort to drive ongoing transparency and accountability, Riot has also committed to having its internal reporting and pay equity processes monitored by a third party jointly approved by Riot and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing for three years,” the company said.

Final approval of the deal is pending, with a hearing expected in the first few months of the upcoming year.

The suit, filed in November 2018 by now-former employees Melanie McCracken and Jess Negrón, alleged gender discrimination as well as sexual harassment and misconduct at Riot, leading to inquiries by California state agencies.

“I am so glad we achieved this first step toward justice for the women of Riot Games,” said Negron. “I hope this case serves as an example for other studios and an inspiration for women in the industry at large. Women in gaming do not have to suffer inequity and harassment in silence — change is possible.”

“Three years ago, Riot was at the heart of what became a reckoning in our industry. We had to face the fact that despite our best intentions, we hadn’t always lived up to our values. As a company we stood at a crossroads; we could deny the shortcomings of our culture, or we could apologize, correct course, and build a better Riot. We chose the latter,” Riot Games said of the deal in a statement. “While we’re proud of how far we’ve come since 2018, we must also take responsibility for the past. We hope that this settlement properly acknowledges those who had negative experiences at Riot and demonstrates our desire to lead by example in bringing more accountability and equality to the games industry.”

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