Riot staff threaten further walkouts if firm doesn't budge on forced arbitration

Riot staff threaten further walkouts if firm doesn't budge on forced arbitration

More than 150 members of staff at League of Legends studio Riot Games walked out yesterday (Monday, May 6th) over the company forcing two lawsuits against it into private arbitration - and this might be the first of many. 

Speaking to Kotaku, social listening strategy Jocelyn Monahan said that the firm had demanded that Riot not do this again, saying that “asking to feel safe does not make you entitled".

Monahan said that another walkout would be taking place in the future if Riot doesn't make a commitment to change its approach to forced arbitration.

“We might face unforeseen consequences despite leadership’s own commitments, because leadership is one entity, and there are a lot of Rioters throughout the org,” said Riot writer Indu Reddy.

“We will prepare for retaliation. I think it wouldn’t be smart to not plan for it. But we’re not assuming it either because leadership said they wouldn’t retaliate—for this one, anyway. We will continue to ask for confirmation for future demonstrations.”

In a statement to Kotaku ahead of the walkout, a Riot rep said it wasn't going to change course on lawsuits already underway, but was looking to change how it handles them in future.

“While we will not make a change to our policies while in active litigation, last Thursday we announced that we’ve made the call to pivot our approach," the spokesperson said.

"As soon as active litigation is resolved, we will give all new Rioters the choice to opt-out of mandatory arbitration for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims. At that time, we will also commit to have a firm answer on potentially expanding the scope and extending this opt-out to all Rioters. We are working diligently to resolve all active litigation so that we can quickly take steps toward a solution. As we have been for the past week, we will continue to listen to Rioters regarding their thoughts on arbitration and we’re thankful for everyone that has taken the time to meet with leadership about this issue.”

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.