Earlier this month, Kotaku published a lengthy and detailed report on Riot’s alleged workplace toxicity. The outlet spoke to 28 current and former employees who shared stories of gender discrimination and sexist language. Since the article came out three weeks ago, Riot said it has focused on “listening and learning.”
“As a company, we’re used to patching problems ASAP, but this patch will not happen overnight,” it said in a blog post on its official website. “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.”
Going forward, Riot said it’s expanding its Diversity & Inclusion Initiative by bringing in a new team to accelerate its current cultural and inclusion work. That team will be accountable to Riot Games CEO Nicolo Laurent.
The developer also plans to revisit its cultural definitions. This includes reevaluating words like “gamer” and “meritocracy.” “If the words are misused or don’t help us describe our vision for the future, we won’t use them,” it said.
Additionally, it’s asked two consultants to give third-party evaluations, it’s doubling down on anti-bias and anti-harassment training, and it’s evaluating its investigation processes. Employees can now call a hotline and submit complaints anonymously, and Riot said it’s prepared to take big actions against specific cases, including the removal of “Rioters.”
“No one and nothing is sacred,” it said.
“We’ve always believed that Riot should be the home for the very best talent in gaming. It’s clear we’ve fallen short of that goal. But we’ve never backed down from a challenge before and we don’t plan to start now.”
(Correction: Earlier, we said Riot Games’ CEO is Brandon Beck. He stepped down from day-to-day management in October and is not involved in Riot’s proposed initiatives.)