Riot slams $400m figure California state reckons it owes former employees

Riot slams $400m figure California state reckons it owes former employees

League of Legends maker Riot Games has said that the $400m figure that the state of California says it should pay former employees in a lawsuit over gender discrimination and sexual harassment.

That's according to PCGamesN, who was sent court papers dated January 22nd, 2020 by the firm in which Riot says that the $400m figure is "outrageous, reckless and without any basis in fact or law." Previously Riot had reached a preliminary settlement with the plaintiffs for $10m, something Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) said that was far below what it should be

The company also says that the figure is "a clickbait number designed to get attention," and accuses California's DFEH of seeking publicity more than it is seeking fair compensation for the women suing Riot.

“The DFEH’s $400m number, although dramatic, is based on a flawed approach to data that is grossly distorted and misleading," Riot wrote.

"As the agency charged with understanding pay equity issues, the DFEH knows this. Thus, it appears that the DFEH’s intent is not to provide a meaningful analysis of the alleged pay disparities here, but to proffer the most outlandish figure possible, in order to garner sensational headlines and pressure Riot in the public.”

Furthermore, DFEH has claimed that Riot hasn't made any "enforceable changes to employment policies" at the company in the wake of the damning exposé from Kotaku. This is something that Riot objects to on the basis that it claims to have made a number of internal changes internally, in addition to "strongly denying allegations of "systematic discrimination."

The case continues with a hearing set for Los Angeles Superior Court on February 3rd.

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.