[Long Discussion] Is Riot Using Player Money to Run a Sweatshop in The Philippines?

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Little Italy 2

Senior Member

12-28-2012

exploit anyone and everyone i like it! Sweatshops #1 they work rearry hard


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Kickerz

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Senior Member

12-28-2012

It would be cool if Riot addressed this.


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runfrompms1

Senior Member

12-29-2012

Your court riot.


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ThatNinjaGuy

Senior Member

12-29-2012

I really doubt drugged and abused workers in the Philippines could give a higher PSAT than people in Austin so this entire argument kind of falls apart.


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Vamp13

Member

12-29-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eserine View Post
Be careful what you wish for Vamp13, without any labor guidelines dictating schedule procedure and a terrible job market you might easily find yourself in a Japanese-style work environment one day:

Toyota’s manufacturing processes came under scrutiny in 2002 after one Kenichi Uchino collapsed and died on the Tokyo factory’s floor in his fourth hour of “voluntary overtime.” In his last month there, he’d worked 106 hours of overtime, largely unpaid — a standard practice in Japan, where employees are judged on their loyalty and dedication. The term “karoshi” (death from overwork) describes just such a situation, as a court ruled in favor of Uchino’s widow five years later. Toyota has since limited overtime to 360 hours a year, though the workers respond by sticking around with the lights off.

"Only the laziest workers stop to 'eat food', and these disloyal freeloaders should be the let go as soon as possible in favor of those who understand the true value of productivity!"
voluntary.


so, if someone joins the marines, gets shot we should go protest the military existence?


he overworked himself trying to prove he's a good worker and died in the process. i personally woudlnt of done 100 something hours of overtime in a week, that sounds retarded, you're free to quit the job and find a better employer if you dont like your current one.


i wish i could work 12-15 hours a day without overtime, just regular hourly, instead of a dumb 8. i also wish i could work more than 8 hrs without a lunch break, or with a 10 or 15 minute lunch break. seriously.


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DoozleDorf

Senior Member

12-29-2012

A thoughtful thread worth consideration. Time will tell, of course, whether or not some of the possibilities suggested within become reality. One of the issues that bothers me is: if the goal is to ensure that player support workers have ('very much of') the same working conditions/environment of Riot staff, and money is not a driving issue, why is it that Riot doesn't just open its own player support office here in the states, or there in the Philippines and have them actually be Riot employees. They (Riot) would then actually have the power of control over the working conditions/environment. Using a contractor removes most of that power beyond anything listed in the contract, and there just is no possible way to include all the specifics and touchy-feely nuances involved in ensuring that those workers receive and experience the same level of 'Awesome' (and protections) at work as employees at other Riot offices do.


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Eserine

Senior Member

12-29-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vamp13 View Post
voluntary.


so, if someone joins the marines, gets shot we should go protest the military existence?


he overworked himself trying to prove he's a good worker and died in the process. i personally woudlnt of done 100 something hours of overtime in a week, that sounds retarded, you're free to quit the job and find a better employer if you dont like your current one.


i wish i could work 12-15 hours a day without overtime, just regular hourly, instead of a dumb 8. i also wish i could work more than 8 hrs without a lunch break, or with a 10 or 15 minute lunch break. seriously.
The phrase "voluntary overtime" was put into quotes by the author because working these many hours of unpaid overtime is not voluntary at all, you WOULD have done that many hours of overtime yourself if you were part of a culture similar to Japan where workers follow the concept of Soshikiryoku, to have no personal identity outside of the company you work for, and expected total loyalty to the corporation who originally trained you after you left school for your entire life. Kenichi Uchino would never have been hired by another company in his field of specialization after becoming "a traitor" by leaving or working less hours, he (as a middle-aged man, and presumably the family he supports) would be left without income and without any form of job reference to find new work.

You can claim that you want the ability to work 15 hours a day, are you going to want the EXPECTATION that you work 15 hours a day if you are still doing the same job in 20 or 30 years? What about the colleagues you work with who might have a spouse or children at home? If the law allows such things to occur it is in the company's extreme benefit to find the people stupid enough to spend every day of their life working, and fire every other worker they would have to pay for doing less work. If the job market is terrible (as it certainly is in The Philippines), then companies can offer such workers a horrible minimum wage, and the laborers will take it knowing that there is nowhere else to find income because corrupt politicians disabled or overlook all the worker laws meant to protect them, and if the fine-print of the contract you signed says that you can be thrown into prison for owing the company hundreds of work-hours in fines for taking a bathroom break or going home at night, leaving the company to become unemployed becomes even more difficult.

One can even sympathize with the executives in these countries, if you were a human resources manager and you had to fire three people doing the same job, out of four options (including Vamp13) would you choose the workers who take 15 minute lunch breaks and work 13-15 hours a day or would you choose the guy who works 16 hours every day and never takes any form of lunch break or sick day, who always works the maximum amount legally allowed?


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Eserine

Senior Member

12-29-2012

This thread has been moved from GD to the "help and support" forum by the Riot staff...


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Eserine

Senior Member

12-29-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatNinjaGuy View Post
I really doubt drugged and abused workers in the Philippines could give a higher PSAT than people in Austin so this entire argument kind of falls apart.

The work as I understand it mainly entails identifying which pre-written script to forward to the player, and sending all non-scripted-for queries on to Riot HQ, which drugged and abused workers are certainly capable of.


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Eserine

Senior Member

01-10-2013

Since I last wrote in, I attempted to draw this thread to the attention of a number of a number of Riot posters on the forum, with no response:

http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/...age=2#32945864
http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/...age=2#32973405

Finally today I received clarification from the Support team after writing a support ticket as previously mentioned:

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Eserine:

Hello, I am looking for information about jobs in The Philippines. What is the name of the customer-support company or companies that Riot works with in The Philippines? Thank you!

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Psyche (League of Legends Player Support):

Greetings Summoner,

I’m Psyche and I am a Player Support Specialist here at Riot Games. I wanted to personally introduce myself so you could know a little bit more about me, because each and every one of us here at Riot is passionate about connecting with our Players and doing what we can to help. It is our goal here at Riot to be the most Player Focused company in the world, and a big part of that mission is providing the best service we can to our players.

We have teams in Los Angeles, Ireland, Turkey, Korea, and the Philippines, and each of our offices is committed to providing you with the best support possible – no matter the challenges we may face. We don’t call it “Customer Support” for a reason - we threw out the word “Customer” because we want to connect with our fellow Summoners and treat everyone as they should be treated – as Players, not Customers. I am happy to say that my job as a member of this team is to get to connect with you, and work with you to resolve any issues you may be experiencing.

Riot empowers our Player Support teams to think creatively, find the root cause of issues and communicate causes to our development teams. Ultimately, everyone at Riot is working together to make our mission statement a reality, and therefore we consider all feedback valuable even if it is not always easy to hear. To go beyond that, each and every one of us works to Support you and, in turn, work to create a positive, awesome experience in League of Legends – and we push to go above and beyond to meet that goal wherever we can.

Thank you for your interest in working for Riot Games.

While we do not handle application requests or updates through our support site, you can visit our direct website to find out more information about Riot Games as a company, our products, the positions that we are currently looking for, and a contact email where you can direct all further questions about positions.

http://www.riotgames.com/

If you have any other questions please let me know!

If you have any other questions or feedback related to League of Legends, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I wish you the best of luck on the Fields of Justice!

Game on!

Psyche
Riot Games Player Support Specialist
ᵔᴥᵔ

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Eserine:

Greetings Psyche,

When I write that I am "looking for information about jobs in The Philippines", I do not mean that I am seeking a job, I mean that I looking for information about those who work in The Philippines with Riot. I am aware of Riot's official stance on player support, however Riot employs contractor companies who do not belong to Riot directly, and may indeed fulfill customer-support functions for a number of companies outside of Riot while simultaneously interacting with the League of Legends player base (or have done so in the past before working with Riot).

To reiterate my question then: Are you able to give me the name or names of the company or companies that Riot Games works with (contracts) in The Philippines? If you are not able to give me this information, do you know of anyone who could give me this information?

Thank you very much.

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MrAwesomerM (League of Legends Player Support):

Greetings Summoner,

I am sorry, but this type of information is confidential and I am afraid I cannot give it to you.

I apologize for not being able to help you any further with your request and I wish you good luck on the Fields of Justice!

''Few can weather the storm that follows in the wake of Volibear's roar.''
-- Ashe, the Frost Archer

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Eserine:

If you can't share this type of information with players, can you explain the purpose of this type of information being kept confidential?

Thanks.

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Psyche (League of Legends Player Support):

Hi there,

At Riot we often collaborate with external parties, but as a part of our agreement with those external parties, their details are confidential. I'm sorry, but for privacy and security reasons we are not able to share details of any external parties we work with in any capacity.

I'm sorry I can't be of more assistance to you in this case! If you have any other League of Legends related questions please let me know.

Game on!

Psyche
Riot Games Player Support Specialist
ᵔᴥᵔ

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Eserine:

By allowing (or requiring) such secrecy stipulations to be part of contract agreements with external parties, Riot also removes all forms of oversight upon their actions, by players, the wider public, and presumably many within the company. In regards to these recent instances of Riot outsourcing jobs to countries with poor human rights or work records, this is worrisome to me and many other players who do not want our money going to fund a potential sweatshop, or a potential string of sweatshops that violate the rights of other humans.

Lee Saggers (RiotGicer) assures players that the department in charge of these matters is 'very passionate about ensuring similar working conditions':

http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/...72455#31872455

but I've asked him through Twitter (and many other leaders of the company through the forums) to specify exactly how they plan to ensure such principles, or even to specify what exactly they mean by "similar working conditions", and I have had no response from anyone. Is this also confidential information for the purposes of security, and could you be more specific in how this would be the case?

What I am afraid of is that the Outsourcing Department wants to play "Kathy Lee Gifford", they will hire contractors with poor or declining conditions for workers and then if there is ever a press scandal emerging from these locations the department will claim that it was "totally shocked by the news of abuse", as Kathy Lee Gifford likewise reacted to news of her clothing line being produced by underage slave-labor workers. It is delightful if the Outsourcing Department has written in contract stipulations mandating good work standards, but that is insufficient alone to prevent managers from taking advantage of dysfunctional conditions in the political and economic spheres of poorly-regulated developing nations, and these initial moves in hiring (which seem, from the player perspective, to be without protections beyond thin paper) may only set an early precedent for much more outsourcing in the decades of Riot Games to come, as they set a questionable industry standard.

The United States government discloses its contracting to other countries in all realms but covert operations as a matter of public record every year, as do many Fortune500 companies, and it does not lead to kidnapping or extortion scenarios (and if digital security is an overriding issue, the data of players should never be trusted to systems unable to protect it). Realistically I must wonder how much of an "open secret" the taskload or hires are to people actually living in The Philippines, I haven't pursued researching this on Google to this point for the reason that I have no wish to undermine Riot if planners are actually attempting to get ahead of the issue of worker abuse.

Without further clarification on the subject of Riot's intentions in outsourcing however I am sufficiently concerned about this matter to bring it up to Riot shareholders and journalists(as are presumably the other players writing in to support the thread I made on this subject in NA General Discussion before forum moderators chose to bury it in the technical support forum).

I would love to see a forum post from the company to discuss with players: "Here are all the ways we are not like Apple.Inc and Foxconn"- following the hypothetical form: "While we can't give out the name of the companies we might work with, in extended engagements with the potential for obligation parameters not to be met we plan to do random in-person surprise inspections of working conditions a few times a year, interview contracted workers anonymously about conditions every few months, we will have webcams set up in the buildings that will be monitored from our headquarters every now and then to ensure employees don't end up working 24 hour shifts and drug tests to ensure that they are not being pressured to abuse pharmaceuticals in the name of higher output, we are reaching out to the governments of these locations but are not putting our full trust into their oversight alone, etc. etc. etc.".

I appreciate even having this rather limited discussion with the staff in your department even without such a thread being created.

I also realize that there might be proprietary "Big Data" analysis that Riot fears may be adopted by competitors in choosing which contracts to take in much the same way as the Obama presidential campaign selected cable advertisement impacts but that is both irrelevant to the current issue and unnecessary to reference in an address to the players.

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Hollymonster (League of Legends Player Support):

Hello Eserine,

My name is Hollymonster and I am our Game and Account Support lead, as well the previously titled Outsourcing Coordinator that investigated and made the final decision on which company we would use (and where the location would be) for outsourcing.

I can understand why you would be worried, however we manage all of the operations of the site. When researching companies, this was one of the most important deciding factors on which company we were going to go with.

Our operations there run 24 hours a day, every day with multiple staggering shifts. Each agent works a normal shift (8 hours, 5 days a week) and we offer voluntary overtime when our queues are running larger than normal. Their working hours are monitored by the company there, as well as by us internally. The operations in that office are run very closely to how Riot Games runs our operations. Many people stay after their shift to play a few games of League before they go home, which is what most people in the office internally do as well.

Multiple Riot employees from the PS team visit the site often to provide support and keep up morale. I have personally been in their office for a total of about 2 months now, and from my experience the people there are passionate and love working for the Riot campaign as well as for their company.

Unfortunately I cannot share specific company information as we are under a mutual NDA.

Thank you for your concern, and have a wonderful day.

Warmest Regards,
Hollymonster
☜(⌒.⌒)☞

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Eserine:

Thank you very much Hollymonster, this is the information that I was looking for and I am incredibly glad to hear of your efforts.

I hope that Riot is able to maintain this great standard of oversight throughout their entire operational lifespan, and such values have been codified into the rules for any future outsourcing by later actors within the company now that you have moved on to Game and Account Support, especially if part of the reason you have a mutual NDA is that the company or employees you are working with (partially or as a whole) have had publicized issues in the past with worker abuse problems.

I will now end my inquiry thread on this issue while relating your response: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/....php?t=2862685

Best of luck to you,

Eserine

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Hollymonster (League of Legends Player Support):

The duties that go with my title change require me to still partially manage the operations of our site, so I will be visiting just as often as before to keep up morale and so on.

Also, I will likely have a hand in the outsourcing efforts for Player Support as long as I am with the company. I don't plan on leaving Riot for a VERY long time.

Mutual NDA's are common practice in most business partnerships, especially ones of this sort due to the confidential information that is shared (example: agent pay rates, company financial standing, etc). In our research we made sure that the companies we looked into did not have a history of employee abuse, and the company we chose is especially generous to their employees in regards to perks and bonus'.

I appreciate your thanks, and hope to continue to provide the level of service you deserve as our valued player. Best of luck on the Fields of Justice!

Warmest Regards,
Hollymonster
☜(⌒.⌒)☞

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Eserine:

Wonderful! As I tried to point out to BamDragon, other departments of Riot outside of support might eventually find it advantageous to do outsourcing as the ambitions of the designers grow (like time-consuming animation projects or high-volume mass merchandising), but I will likely still be requesting better racial representation in the character roster for all eternity, so if evidence of dysfunction in these potential sectors present themself I will shoot you a message about fixing things if no one else does first.

As I believe they say in Manilla, Paalam at salamat sa iyo Hollymonster.