Riot Games agrees to pay $100 million settlement for class-action gender discrimination suit

Riot Games settlement

The League of Legends publisher agrees to settle the 2018 class-action suit

Riot Games announced on Monday that it will agree to settle a 2018 class-action suit with California state agencies and female employees for $100 million.

The League of Legends publisher agrees to pay $80 million to members of the class-action suit, made up of current and former women who worked at the company full-time or as a contractor since November 2014. An additional $20 million will be paid toward legal fees and expenses, per Reuters.

As part of the settlement Riot Games will also commit to having its internal reporting and pay equity processes monitored by a third party. This party will be jointly approved by Riot Games and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and will review complaint investigations and outcomes over three years.

The internal culture issues at Riot came to light in the mainstream thanks to a 2018 exposé published by Kotaku. The report detailed issues of discrimination and harassment at the publisher, leading to employee demonstrations and eventually the class-action suit. Though originally set to settle for $10 million, the California DFEH and the state Division of Labor Standards Enforcement intervened.

Riot executives addressed the settlement in an email to Riot employees, obtained by The Washington Post. In the email, they say the number of eligible claimants has more than doubled as the company has hired more women in recent years.

Both sides have agreed, but final approval is still pending, with a hearing to be set by the judge.

The settlement arrives at the end of 2021, and follows several other publishers facing their own reckonings over reports of internal culture issues. Companies like Ubisoft have been brought under scrutiny, and Activision Blizzard has been the subject of another investigation from the California DFEH over reports of discrimination, harassment, and a toxic workplace.

Eric Van Allen