Riot insists $10m settlement for gender discrimination lawsuit is "fair and adequate"

Riot insists $10m settlement for gender discrimination lawsuit is "fair and adequate"

League of Legends maker Riot Games has said that the $10m it had agreed to settle a lawsuit against former staff who allege they were discriminated against on the basis of their gender.

This follows the plaintiffs seeking new legal counsel, who has said that the firm needs to pay much more than the agreed sum in the wake of California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing saying that Riot should pay out $400m. The new lawyers have withdrawn the $10m lawsuit as a result.

The company isn't happy about this, saying that there is no basis for the larger figure.

"Throughout this process we’ve focused on reaching a resolution that's fair to everyone involved, while continuing to demonstrate our commitment to the transformative journey we've been on for the past 18 months. We understand that the plaintiffs’ new counsel needs adequate time to review the proposed settlement agreement and we respect that," the company said.

"That said, the analysis and discussions which led to the earlier proposed settlement were comprehensive and thorough, and we believe that the proposal was fair and adequate under the circumstances. We’re committed to working collaboratively to reach a resolution that reflects our commitment to move forward together, but it needs to be one that is justified by the underlying facts.

"It has been our position from the beginning to do the right thing by the plaintiffs as well as Riot, and we will continue to do just that. With respect to the numbers posited by the DFEH, we'll say again that there is no basis in fact or reason that would justify that level of exposure and we believe that any assertions to the contrary can simply not be made in good faith.

"While we have acknowledged that there is work that we needed to do to better live up to our values, we have also made clear to our employees that we will defend ourselves against false narratives and unfair claims that do nothing to remedy any hardships of actual class members."

This comes in the wake of a damning 2018 expose by Kotaku which claimed that Riot had a sexist and toxic working culture. The firm has done much to try and reform its image, bringing on board new hires like chief diversity officer Angela Roseboro and Uber vet Frances Frei.

One year after the initial report, Roseboro detailed the changes Riot had made to improve as a company. 

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.