Riot Games, maker of the hit multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game “League of Legends,” continues to stay in hot water for its culture that allegedly treats women wrongly.

According to an in-depth report from Kotaku last year, some of Riot’s employees testify that the gaming company has a “bro” culture that obviously prefers male workers than female workers. Although the game company does have a few women in high positions, it has treated most female employees with less respect compared to male workers.

Over the past few months, several former and current employees have filed lawsuits against the popular game company over its reportedly sexist culture. In response, Riot filed motions to block two of these employees -- females -- from taking the company to court. It filed the motions just last week.

Riot’s reason for blocking the two female employees from suing, according to itself, isn’t hard to understand: these women have “waived their rights to sue the company” when they got hired.

A lawyer representing the plaintiffs against Riot, however, pointed out that the game company’s move served only to shut the mouths of those who are standing up to protest its wrong practices.

“Today’s actions only serve to silence the voices of individuals who speak out against such misconduct,” lawyer Ryan Saba said, “and demonstrate that the company’s words were no more than lip service.”

Now, some of Riot’s employees are said to be planning a walkout in protest of the company’s move to block the two female employees from taking legal action.

Conflicting messages

Since its bro culture was exposed, Riot has tried to deal with the issue in an attempt to silence the noise surrounding it. The game company issued a public apology after the report, hired new personnel who could work on fixing diversity issues, and promised to change its policies.

An employee said Riot failed to deliver on the promises it made regarding its exposed bro culture. Although they were considering a walkout for months, they did not push through with it. The company’s move to bar the female employees from filing a lawsuit, however, was all they needed to decide and go through with the walkout.

Damage control

In response to the planned walkout, Riot said it is going to hold forums where it can discuss its policies, including those related to arbitration, and receive feedback from employees.

Whether Riot’s efforts to appease its employees succeed or not remains to be seen. Unless the game company meets the demands its employees made, it’s likely that the planned walkout will push through on Monday, May 6.

League of Legends Welcome to the offseason of "League of Legends." Photo: Riot Games