Most League of Legends players would probably flip at the chance to work for Riot Games. The company which has become a worldwide success over the past few years has proven to be a generous employer, offering their workers free RP and LoL loot as a bonus for working there. They have even gone so far as to previously refuse to hire anyone who has previously received a ban on their LoL account as an indicator towards bad behaviour. However, in a recent study, they seem to be taking their in-game behaviour data to the next level in regards to their workplace.
Following a year long study into the behaviour of their employees in the workplace and in-game, Riot believe they have found a correlation between workplace related problems and in-game reports. According to their study; “The Riot team hypothesised there’d be a correlation between highly toxic in-game play and workplace toxicity; if a Rioter received lots of in-game complaints, the team assumed they’d have more friction with workplace teammates too.” They found that there was indeed a correlation between their workplace issues and in-game behaviour with several employees who have been let go during the year long study showing “unusually aggressive” behaviour in-game and using their status as Riot employees to intimidate and manipulate other players in each match.
In an effort to clean up their workplace, Riot took the 30 biggest offenders from their test group and split them into 2 categories. One group would be let go due to their actions, while the other would receive a stern warning from their superiors. In a meeting with each of the troublemakers, Riot issued each problem employee with a detailed chat log of their in-game behaviour, prompting many to examine and repent on their toxicity. Speaking on the results of hte study, and the dismissal of some workers, Riot has said, “While these logs did factor into the exits of a couple employees who had already had serious problems, the response from almost everyone else was overwhelmingly positive,” They have also reported receiving several essays from the warned employees, vowing that they will clean up their acts.
Toxicity in the MOBA genre is sadly nothing new. Most players of any popular MOBA such as League of Legends, DOTA 2, or Heroes of the Storm will likely warn new players what they’re getting themselves into. While research has been done to find a correlation between real life anger issues and in-game behaviour, no conclusive answer has been given that could stop the tides of vitriol being spewed out on a daily basis. However, given the efforts made by Riot to look into the psychology of their players, we’re getting steps closer to an answer. Who knows, perhaps one day we’ll see a peaceful gaming utopia on the horizon!