Riot Games announced they have reached a settlement for the class action sexual harassment lawsuit that should have gone a long way in tarnishing the studio's reputation.
Kotaku published a report last year that laid bare several issues at the Los Angeles-based company, citing a culture of sexism and favoritism at the studio. Multiple employers also came forward with allegations of sexual harassment and promotional discrimination.
Riot announced a "First Steps Forward" initiative in the wake of the revelations, apologizing to former, current and future employees for not providing the environment they promised and outlined plans to move on.
Riot employees responded to the initiative by staging a company-wide walkout in May after the studio forced one of the lawsuits into neutral arbitration. The company cleared meeting schedules for all staff and assured them that no action would be taken against those who were part of the walkout.
On Thursday, Riot revealed a settlement has been reached over the lawsuit that stemmed from the accusations despite claiming it was in a "strong position to litigate."
"As many of you know, there have been a few lawsuits filed against Riot since last year, including a proposed class action that alleged claims of gender discrimination in pay and promotion, sexual harassment, and retaliation against women working at Riot offices in California," a statement reads.
"We’ve taken these claims very seriously and have been working on many fronts to review and address the lawsuits and the concerns that were raised. We’ve done a deep dive into our past, our culture, and our systems and processes. Last August, we announced our First Steps Forward, and those steps continue today. We will continue to strive to be a great company and one that cares about its employees and its players.
"After extensively reviewing these issues, we can confidently state that gender discrimination (in pay or promotion), sexual harassment, and retaliation are not systemic issues at Riot."
"All parties have reached an agreement in principle today to resolve the class action case against Riot Games," it continues.
Riot is claiming to be the proverbial bigger man here by settling instead of doing otherwise but, in reality, coming to an agreement with the aggrieved parties only serves to protect the company.
It's actually disappointing that this suit wasn't allowed to go further as there would have likely been a reckoning. Of course, that there will be compensation will do a bit to right the injustices Riot is being accused of, TheGamer offers our continued support for the victims at Riot and those who have suffered harassment and discrimination.