Two Riot Games staff members have departed the company in the wake of the PAX West women/non-binary-only panels and the reaction to said seminars.
Daniel Klein was still systems designer at Riot, working on League of Legends, when he tweeted a response to the negative reception on the likes of Reddit. He confirmed to the Verge, however, his contract had since been terminated by Riot because of a social media policy violation. Specifics of the violation have yet to be released by the company.
Following Klein out of the door was communications associate Mattias Lehman, another individual unafraid to speak about their experiences at the studio – and those of others, as detailed in Kotaku’s stinging report. There was no confirmation of how Lehman departed, whether he suffered the same fate as Klein or left of his own volition.
In a statement to the Verge, a Riot representative said: “These departures are independent from our efforts to evolve our culture. Our culture remains our top priority, and we remain committed to taking the steps that we need to become a leader in Diversity & Inclusion. We will always encourage Rioters to share their perspectives, and we fully support efforts by Rioters to further our Diversity & Inclusion initiatives. We are committed to making real, positive change in Riot’s culture and internal advocates are a crucial part of making that happen.”
Now re-read the statement with it in your mind that a couple of outspoken devs left the company – one confirmed fired – after ‘sharing their perspectives’. Let’s see where Riot is on its ‘seven-step’ programme this time next year, eh?