The video game industry attracts a lot of media attention, and is a significant influence on popular culture. Riot Games, the publisher of successful eSports video game, League of Legends, is the latest company to make headlines, albeit in circumstances that are far from flattering. Nevertheless, it will allow us to reflect on some of the challenges in the modern workplace.
Riot Games CEO, Nicolo Lauren, has found himself at the centre of a sexual harassment claim, filed by an ex-employee and former personal assistant. The details of the allegations are serious, and highlight how the interactions between management and employees can quickly deteriorate if professional boundries are not appropriately set and respected.
Corporate culture can be difficult to measure, but certainly counts for a lot in employment-related matters. This is especially true in high-performing companies such as Riot, where a single video game release can earn upwards of $1.6 billion. Left unmitigated, however, success can lead to the tolerance of behaviour that would otherwise be deemed unacceptable.
Accordingly, few may be surprised to learn that Riot has a checkered history in terms of culture; again placing the interactions of men and women at the forefront. The company has taken steps to address these issues, including a $10 million class action settlement with 1,000 of its female employees. Given the latest incident, however, there appears further work to do.
Companies should aim to cultivate amicable relationships between employees. In doing so, an organisation’s management, and CEO in particular, must lead by example. Since the allegations have been raised against Lauren, an internal review has been completed; a special committee found no evidence of wrongful behaviour, however, the legal matter remains ongoing.