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Published: May 8, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • Details about what the two companies have to pay to victims have been revealed
  • Riot has to pay over $100 million to more than 1 500 employees
  • Activision has to pay just $18 million to “hundreds” of affected staff

The series of harassment and toxic work environment scandals that Activision and Riot have been involved in over the past year have been settled with the payment of tens of millions of USD.

Riot and Activision Pay Up

Since late 2021, Activision Blizzard has been at the center of numerous scandals regarding harassment of employees at the workplace and a general toxic environment. Although the company has denied the existence of a widespread toxic culture at the workplace, and even created a special ethics committee to combat harassment and discrimination, the scandals resulted in several lawsuits that stretched throughout 2022 and this year.

Riot Games have also been involved in numerous similar scandals, which eventually led to a gender discrimination lawsuit that resulted in a slew of settlements with affected employees. According to Axios, the company now has to pay over $100 million total to the victims, which amounts to compensations from $2 500 to $50 000 for 1 548 employees, most of whom are female and have been victims of sexual harassment and discrimination. Riot also has to pay additional payments of up to $40 000 in select instances.

Activision had its share of sexual harassment lawsuits, too. According to Axios, the company’s settlement was for $18 million, and the majority has now been distributed to “hundreds” of its employees with payments “ranging from five to six figures”. Any remaining funds from the lawsuit are set to be donated to the non-profit organization Reboot Representation.

Although the deal was approved by the responsible legislative bodies, many still say that Activision has had to pay a cost far too small, considering the extent of harassment and the number of Activision employees affected by it. The $18 million almost pale in comparison to the sum that Riot have to pay. This illustrates bit only just how costly this whole issue has been for Riot, but also how widespread harassment must have been at the company. It’s important to note that some affected people decided to opt out of the deal.However, despite Activision Blizzard escaping relatively unscathed from this series of lawsuits, the company’s woes are not at an end. Recently, the UK’s CMA blocked Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which has hurt the latter’s stock. Although Activision Blizzard is still hugely popular, this and the series of scandals it has gone through in the past year and a half have put a halt to the gaming giant’s growth.

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