Recently, accusations have been leveled at Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends, saying that it was a workplace rife with misogyny and sexism and general toxicity (much like the community of the game it created, badum-tish). The staff have pledged to address the Riot Games sexism, but it won’t happen overnight.
Over two dozen former employees of the company spoke to Kotaku over the past month, giving an inside look at the studio and its general workplace attitude, which included sexism towards women and sexual misconduct, including the sharing of illicit pictures, pictures of genitals, emails of what it would be like to sleep with a coworker’s wife, and lists of women that bosses wanted to sleep with.
Along with that, Riot Games sexism included homophobic and racist slurs, gendered insults, insinuations that the women working at the company slept their way in, and women being singled out for their body type and in some cases being the only woman on a team. What made it worse is that this was also encouraged by the studio staff, as former employee Barry Hawkins brought some behavior to the attention of management and was reprimanded by co-founder Marc Merrill, who went as far as to threaten him and say that his future at Riot Games was limited.
With the sexism and other objectionable pieces of company culture brought to light, the company has since said that the Riot Games sexism won’t have any place in the company in the future, with the intent of changing the company completely. Whether this will turn into anything or not remains to be seen but it all depends on how strictly these new guidelines are enforced and how stringent new hiring processes are.
League of Legends already has a reputation for toxicity that puts many people off playing the game, so hopefully Riot Games won’t have a similar issue that prevents many people from joining at all.