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About 1,600 women received payments from Riot Games after discrimination suit

Riot's women staff saw the majority of its $104 million settlement, which arose from a 2018 lawsuit alleging the studio's yearslong culture of sexism.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

January 23, 2024

1 Min Read
Splash image for Riot Games' Valorant, Legends of Runeterra, and League of Legends.
Image via Riot Games.

At a Glance

  • Riot's new settlement breakdown shows how much an allegedly toxic workplace can financially lose when all is said and done.

A new breakdown of Riot Games' 2018 gender discrimination lawsuit reveals its payout largely went towards women employees.

Per Game File, Rust Consulting's late 2023 documents show the Valorant studio settled for around $104 million. Of that, $64.7 million went to 1,549 women working Riot between 2014 and 2021, with payment based on employment time.

The initial suit from ex-staffers Melanie McCracken and Jess Negrón arose after a Kotaku report alleged Riot had a deep-seated sexist culture. In 2021, it settled for $100 million at the time, and was granted final approval last year.

Rust noted most payments were made in July 2023, with 90 checks remaining uncashed as of December. Those checks total $1.9 million, and if uncashed by January's end, the money will be donated to organizations such as Rewriting the Code and Women in Games.

How Riot responded to the gender discrimination suit

After the 2021 settlement, Riot was ordered to launch a three-year $6 million annual cash reserve. With that money, the studio hired a third-party expert to go over its pay and promotion practices.

In 2020, Riot started releasing transparency reports to further keep itself honest. In its 2022 report, it claimed to have eliminated any "statistically significant differences" for women and minority staff.

The studio hasn't published its findings for 2023 yet, and one imagines its recent layoffs will have affected its metrics in some fashion.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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