In this week’s gaming news breakdown, Riot Games settled a gender-discrimination lawsuit, several game developers were accused of sexual assault, and Bungie gave a statement regarding video game publisher Activision.
Riot Games to settle ongoing gender-discrimination lawsuit
Riot Games has recently decided to settle a gender-discrimination lawsuit after five lawsuits were filed against them from employees claiming the company has violated the California Equal Pay Act. GameSpot noted that “Riot says it has been working to review and address the concerns that were raised in the lawsuits” and is looking to correct issues internally. IGN also noted the walkouts staged by Riot Games employees to “protest Riot’s forced arbitration clause” and make a statement against the company’s initial actions in response to the issues of gender discrimination. Fox Business contributed additional details in addressing two of the employees that experienced discrimination, Melanie McCracken and Jessica Negron, who “filed the lawsuit after an investigation claimed male employees pushed a ‘bro culture’ that put ‘men-first.’” The settlement is still in its early stages but Riot Games has noted that they are planning to be transparent when communicating their progress in regards to these recent lawsuits. Hollywood Reporter added additional details to the status of the settlement by adding that “The parties involved in the lawsuit are now looking to get court approval of the proposed settlement, whose terms will be disclosed when the filing occurs.”
Multiple game developers accused of sexual assault
The Verge and BBC News covered the recent accusations of sexual assault towards multiple video game developers. The Verge reported that Nathalie Lawhead accused Jeremy Soule “a longtime game composer behind series like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and The Elder Scrolls” of rape when they were both at a yet unnamed video game studio in 2008. Vice added an additional developer to the list of sexual assault cases by noting indie developer Zoe Quinn’s accusation of Night in the Woods developer Alec Holowka who she claimed sexually abused her and imprisoned them in their home. Forbes noted that this is the beggining of the video game industry’s Me Too movement, adding that “at least three prominent men in the games industry have been accused of sexual assault and abuse, and many have taken to Twitter to express their support of those coming forward with their stories.”
Bungie speaks out about Activision
GameSpot and PC Gamer covered Bungie’s statements regarding working with Activision on Destiny 2. Bungie spoke positively about their relationship with Activision, with Communications Director David Dague noting that “I think we need to dispel the notion Activision was some prohibitive overlord that wasn’t letting us do awesome things.” Eurogamer’s interview with Bungie provided additional insight into their time working together on Destiny 2, with David Dague stating that “We launched this franchise with Activision, naturally and over the course of time we both decided we had different goals for what we wanted it to be, so we both went our separate ways.” While it appears from Bungie’s statements that it was merely a difference in vision that caused the split, VG247 provided their own insight on the situation. VG247 speculates that “Activision, clearly, was toying around with the idea of making the game more accessible” which may have been a contributing factor to the two companies parting ways.