Riot Games has posted a lengthy, public apology concerning allegations of sexism and misogyny in its workplace, committing to taking steps to improving its internal culture in different ways.
The post, entitled ‘Our First Steps Forward’, straightforwardly and without mincing words apologises to employees and contractors past and present: “We’re sorry,” it reads, “We’re sorry that Riot hasn’t always been—or wasn’t—the place we promised you. And we’re sorry it took so long for us to hear you. In the days, weeks, months, years to come, we’re going to make Riot a place we can all be proud of.”
The pledge goes on to list seven steps Riot is taking to ensure it is a workplace that is safe and welcoming for any and all employees or contractors. Said steps include building a new team for Riot’s Culture, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, training employees, and setting up an anonymous hotline for complaints and investigations – as well as redefining what words like ‘gamer’ and ‘meritocracy’ mean from the studio’s perspective.
Additionally Riot will be inviting in external consultants to provide expertise and recommendations on how the studio can rebuild – the intention being these third parties will offer unbiased advice to management as to how things should operate.
The very public change in manifesto, approach and – apparently – everything else comes in the wake of a damning investigative feature from Kotaku. Riot has not denied any allegations the piece put forth, and has put forward a repentant face on all of its public statements concerning the controversy.
“We’ve always believed that Riot should be the home for the very best talent in gaming,” the statement says, “It’s clear we’ve fallen short of that goal. But we’ve never backed down from a challenge before and we don’t plan to start now.”