Riot Games said earlier in 2019 that it would join an $18 million campaign to increase the number of women of color in tech, and as part of that effort it would host a seven-week Girls Who Code program on campus. More than 70% of the women at Riot’s headquarters volunteered to be part of that program.
Riot Games’ social impact division, dubbed Karma, is led by company president Dylan Jadeja as well as Jeffrey Burrell, its head of corporate social responsibility. Their goal is to deliver on the company’s aim to be the most player-focused gaming company in the world, in the context of social impact.
The company said that its Riot Global Service Day saw a 75% increase in employee participation. And Riot raised $6 million from a single in-game fundraising effort. During that event, Riot Games teased its 1,000th skin and next in-game charity fundraising skin, Dawnbringer Karma. During 2020, Riot promises to update the community with the progress it is making across its pillars of education, opportunity, and citizenship.
Riot said that players will now have agency in choosing what issues they want to support. Additionally, the Social Impact Fund can allocate funding toward social enterprises, women and minority-owned businesses, and others all working to help achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Back in 2018, Riot launched its charity-based skin Dark Star Cho’Gath. It was a custom skin based on a design of a cancer patient named Bryan, an 18-year-old from Saratoga, California, whose Make-A-Wish Foundation request was to make his own League of Legends skin. After he visited Riot, the team put the skin in the game and raised money for global charities on Bryan’s behalf.
For such work, in 2019, Engage for Good awarded League of Legends players and Riot the Golden Halo Award in Consumer Donation and Crowdfunding for their support. And also in 2019, Riot joined the Reboot Representation Tech Coalition as an executive member. The Coalition is made up of 16 companies who are pooling their resources, knowledge, and initiatives in order to double the number of women of color receiving computing degrees by 2025.
To date, Riot Games and a bunch of other companies have committed over $18 million to support underrepresented women of color in computing, with over $9 million in total cash contributions for grantees. The 2019 Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program was the most highly anticipated and exciting new Karma program for 2019.
In 2016, a group of Rioters launched URF Academy, an interactive game design workshop for high school students at the headquarters in Los Angeles. Since then, Riot has hosted more than 500 students in global offices from Brazil to Ireland. In 2019, Riot expanded these workshops to create URF Academy Online — a free, online curriculum to provide high-quality game design instruction to high school students around the world.
Also in 2019, Riot introduced three new foundational programs to Rioters — Pop-Ups, Impact Outings, and the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program — all which provided inclusive opportunities for Rioters to engage with the local community.
The program has provided Rioters a clear way to volunteer and engage with the local community throughout the year — a stark contrast to the one or two opportunities provided in previous years. Not only answering the demands for more Riot led engagement opportunities with the community, but it also provided agency to Rioters to nominate and find support from Riot for the social causes and organizations that they are most passionate about.