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Riot’s creative development head responds to sexual harassment crisis

Riot’s creative development head responds to sexual harassment crisis

The head of creative development at Riot Games has issued a statement of support to those claiming the company has a culture of harassment.

The League of Legends developer recently came under fire for its overwhelmingly male workforce and “bro culture”. Those affected accused the company of paying women staff far less for more work and cultivating a workplace that actively harassed female staff.

Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street, head of creative development at the studio, posted a statement of disappointment at the studio on his personal Tumblr.

“I am doing a lot of listening to make sure the women on my team and at Riot feel like we hear them, we really understand their point of view, and we understand what they want changed,” said Street.”

“Some of the episodes mentioned that qualify as harassment or worse are horrible and inexcusable and I would not allow them on my teams. I have fired people for such behaviour at Riot and also at Blizzard.”

“As a leader at Riot, I have to make sure that the rest of the organization doesn’t tolerate it either.”

A large part of the issue also stems from Riot’s absurd practice of desiring applicants be active League players - an audience that “heavily skews” male. Many outraged claimed this was an excuse for not hiring talented women.

“Riot has desired that all our new hires be active game players, and ideally League players,” Street continued. “Like many games, League skews heavily male, so we are starting with an already smaller pool for potential applicants.

“We are trying to explore new avenues for how we source potential applicants, and while I think it’s challenging to really be good at game development if you don’t love games, we think there are opportunities there to broaden the kind of folks we interview.”

Riot itself responded to the allegations in a statement that didn't deny any of the problems exposed and had already begun to take action. The studio insists it is against the culture of harassment and is doing its best to solve the underlying problem

Street closed out the statement, saying: “This is an industry (gaming specifically, but tech at large) that has a pretty terrible track record for women and minorities. It has been a problem everywhere I have worked, and sadly Riot is not immune either.

“Riot talks a lot more about culture than anywhere I have worked, so perhaps that makes it doubly disappointing that we haven’t been able to deliver”


Staff Writer

Natalie Clayton is an Edinburgh-based freelance writer and game developer. Besides PCGamesInsider and Pocketgamer.biz, she's written across the games media landscape and was named in the 2018 GamesIndustry.biz 100 Rising Star list.

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