'League of Legends' Creator Riot Games Is Being Sued for Gender Discrimination

(Photo: Riot Games)

Riot Games is facing a classaction lawsuit for gender discrimination that was filed by one current and one former employee.

Kotaku reported that the developer behind League of Legends is now facing the lawsuit after former employee Jessica Negron and current employee Melanie McCracken said Riot Games violated California’s Equal Pay Act and law against gender discrimination in the workplace. The lawsuit follows an extensive report from Kotaku about the company culture within Riot Games that was reportedly rife with gender discrimination and allegations of a “bro culture.”

“Like many of Riot Games’ female employees, Plaintiffs have been denied equal pay and found their careers stifled because they are women,” the lawsuit said. “Moreover, Plaintiffs have also seen their working conditions negatively impacted because of the ongoing sexual harassment, misconduct, and bias which predominate the sexually-hostile working environment of Riot Games.”

Not long after Kotaku’s initial investigation was released, a report that cited multiple sources both male and female, Riot Games responded to the allegations and shared plans for improvement. A month after the first report, however, Kotaku said employees who were accused of abusive behavior were still employed at the company.

One of the goals of the lawsuit is to end Riot Games’ alleged practice of paying men more than women when they fill the same role and promoting men more frequently than women. Demoting women who had similar qualifications to their female counterparts was also an alleged issue mentioned in the lawsuit along with another goal where the plaintiffs want to stop Riot from “creating, encouraging, and maintaining a work environment that exposes its female employees to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation on the basis of their gender or sex.”


New details unknown in the first report from Kotaku were also mentioned in the lawsuit, specifically one account from Negron about comments made towards her by a supervisor. According to the lawsuit, Negron’s third supervisor told her “diversity should not be a focal point of the design of Riot Games’ products because gaming culture is the last remaining safe haven for white teen boys.” McCracken, the current employee within Riot Games and second plaintiff in the lawsuit, said she believes she was denied promotions and was both punished and denied adequate compensation by male leadership as a result of the company’s alleged gender discrimination practices.

We’ve reached out to Riot Games with a request for a comment and will update the story accordingly if a response is given.

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