“I think it’s about showing that we are willing to get our feet on the ground and start this conversation,” she said. “Maybe make a small noticeable impact, a jolt.”
Monday’s efforts, she said, is more about perception. She said that she hasn’t heard any talk of unionizing at Riot, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t going on.
Another Riot walkout is planned for Dublin, Ireland on Tuesday, when it isn’t a national holiday in Ireland. Organizers predict at least 100 of the staff will walk out, though estimates of potential walkouts have been as high as 500.
Reached for comment Monday, Riot provided a statement to Variety.
This has been a pretty big year for action that smells like a union but isn’t.” “I think just the fact that Riot already made a small change based on collective action is really big,” she said. “That is what is new for the industry.
Some who walked out or were at the walkout posted images from the protest.
We are working diligently to resolve all active litigation so that we can quickly take steps toward a solution. As soon as active litigation is resolved, we will give all new Rioters the choice to opt-out of mandatory arbitration for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims. At that time, we will also commit to have a firm answer on potentially expanding the scope and extending this opt-out to all Rioters. “While we will not make a change to our policies while in active litigation, last Thursday we announced that we’ve made the call to pivot our approach.


The statement went on to note that the Rioters are not alone.
"We've all experienced some form of harassment throughout our careers and we want our voices heard," she told Variety via email. "I was really content working at Blizzard when Riot reached out to me to join them last year, but what really convinced me to jump ship was their advocacy for change and making the industry as a whole a better place and pave the way for what good can be. The recent decision revolving around forced arbitration has me questioning the direction we are moving towards, and I'd like to voice my concern around the matter.
The group also released a “statement of solidarity with the workers of Riot.”
In the hours leading up to the walkout, a hashtag — #RiotWalkout — began to gain steam on Twitter with people mostly offering support for the people protesting including developers from other studios and Liz Shuler, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFLCIO.


“As we have been for the past week, we will continue to listen to Rioters regarding their thoughts on arbitration and we’re thankful for everyone that has taken the time to meet with leadership about this issue.”


In what many industry insiders believe is a North American first, employees of video game developer Riot Games walked out of their jobs on Monday to protest treatment at the company.
Riot’s recent decision to rid itself of some forms of mandatory arbitration will only take place after current litigation is resolved and in its current state, the promise wouldn’t impact current employees, only new hires.
" The walkout at Riot is the next step in the fight to improve this industry that we all love so much. But through it all, game workers have started having tough but necessary discussions, we've built communities of support, and we've organized against several growing negative trends in our industry. This walkout is the culmination of countless days, weeks, months, and years of work, lessons learned, and careers spent throughout our industry. "The past year has seen a lot of change in the game industry, a lot of turmoil.


The organizer who spoke with Variety said there’s no firm plan about what will happen next if Riot doesn’t change its arbitration policies to meet what they’re asking for but sees Monday’s walkout as a pivotal moment both for the studio and the game industry at large.
“You are demonstrating to all of us in this industry that real change can only come when you and your coworkers stand up for one another, share mutual respect, and develop deep relationships of care and support in the workplace.”
We respect Rioters who choose to walkout today and will not tolerate retaliation of any kind as a result of participating (or not). “We support Rioters making their voices heard today. We have asked all managers to make every accommodation to allow Rioters to participate during the 2-4pm window, including freeing up meeting times.
While Riot announced on Friday that it would soon start giving new employees the option to opt-out of such arbitration, Monday’s event organizers said it isn’t enough.
Today you carry that movement forward.” “Today you build upon that foundation laid by countless workers before you who refused to accept things as they were and built a better world. “There exists a long and storied history of people, regular people, fighting fights just like yours in the game, tech, and entertainment industries,” they wrote.
“We are walking out against forced arbitration of past, current, and future employees, including contractors and those involved in current litigation,” an organizer who asked that her name not be used told Variety. She added that they don’t want it to be an opt-out option, but rather just not part of the contracts.
Today the workers of Riot have set an inspiring example for us all. "The organizers have been working tirelessly, day and night, to support their coworkers, get the message out, and fight for a better workplace. "We are so proud of all the work the people at Riot have put into preparing for their walkout," said Emma Kinema, international organizer with the group.
Sarah Dadafshar, a technical product manager at Riot Games, said the company's forced arbitration policies has her questioning her job.
“We in the labor movement know that change doesn't come about from nice words and daydreaming, it comes about only through day-to-day struggles, building solidarity with your coworkers, speaking out, and showing up even when it feels like no one else will join you,” according to the statement. “Well, today you have certainly shown up and used your collective voice to make a demand more powerful than any one of you could have done alone.
Specifically the Rioters — the internal nickname for employees of the studio behind “League of Legends,” were protesting the company’s use of mandatory arbitration in cases of sexual harassment and sexual discrimination.
The walkout was spurred by Riot’s attempts to end two lawsuits — both about sexism and misconduct at the studio — via forced arbitration. The promise to make changes to the company’s arbitration came after Riot Games employees started planning a walkout.
Ideally, they'd reconsider and help support the whole of Riot equally." "I'm hoping leadership will listen and realize the impact that the decision they are making has on many Rioters.
PT. PT with some employees leaving the Riot offices to gather in a guest parking lot outside. The event is meant to wrap up at 4 p.m. The plan is to have a number of guest speakers talk, an opportunity for others to speak to the gathering, and then for the gathering to break into groups to discuss issues they face at Riot. The walkout kicked off at the San Francisco and Los Angeles offices at 2 p.m.
Do you have stories you’d like to share about working at Riot or other studios under crunch or other adverse work conditions? Email Variety Gaming at GamingTips@Variety.com” />
While organizers say the walkout isn’t linked to any union effort, Game Workers Unite plans to be at the event to offer their support.
The forced arbitration is what pushed it over the edge, she said. The organizer said that talk of a walkout has been “brewing” at Riot for about half a year.

BTS is an abbreviation of "Bangtan Sonyeondan" (“beyond the scene”). The group — comprising members RM, Jin, SUGA, j-hope, Jimin, V, and Jung Kook — debuted in June 2013.” />
"Burn the Stage: The Movie" will be released on YouTube Premium on Jan. 18 at 11 p.m. KST / 9 a.m. EST on YouTube Premium. Also on Friday, viewers around the world will be able to watch an exclusive five-minute highlight of the film through the new YouTube Premieres feature (at this link) and participate in the release countdown using YouTube's global live-chat function to connect with other fans.
The movie is based on the previous YouTube original series "BTS: Burn the Stage." Since its release in theaters worldwide last November, "Burn the Stage: The Movie" has drawn more than 2 million fans in more than 70 countries and regions. The 83-minute documentary film features additional footage beyond the series including narrations, studio interviews, and an appearance by Bang Si-Hyuk, CEO of BTS’ label Big Hit Entertainment.
"Burn the Stage: The Movie," a documentary following K-pop group BTS on their 2017 concert tour, will be streaming on the YouTube Premium subscription service starting this Friday.
“I hope that ‘Burn the Stage: The Movie’ will become another special present to our viewers around the world.” “I am glad that we have been able to reintroduce the story of such great global artists like BTS,” said Nadine Zylstra, head of YouTube Originals for Asia Pacific.
The service is priced at $11.99 per month in the U.S., and includes ad-free access to all YouTube videos and YouTube Music as well as full access to YouTube Originals. YouTube Premium is now available in 29 countries, including South Korea, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain and Sweden.
They are the first Korean group to surpass 600 million views on YouTube for a single video with the music video for "DNA." They also hold the record as the Korean artists with the most music video views on YouTube, with four music videos over 400 million views — "Fire," "Dope," "Fake Love," and 'Mic Drop (Steve Aoki Remix)" — and three music videos over 300 million views — "Blood Sweat & Tears," "Save Me," and "Idol." On YouTube, BTS has been ragingly popular.
26. BTS's next concert film, “BTS World Tour Love Yourself in Seoul,” will have the widest event-cinema release in history: It's slated to hit 3,800 theaters across 95 countries as part of a one-day release on Saturday, Jan.

Drake's "God's Plan" is motivating listeners to do more than just dance.
For listeners looking to get started on their New Year's resolutions, Spotify recommends the Beast Mode, Motivation Mix, and Hype playlists available on the streaming service.” />
2018 also saw a rise in new workout trend-related playlists including interval training, yoga, jumprope, aerobics, and cryotherapy, the top songs of which were Vanilla Ice’s "Ice Ice Baby" and Foreigner’s "Cold as Ice."
As for peak workout times, Spotify found that listeners streamed workout playlists the most in July while November saw the lowest streaming numbers. Female listeners over 30 also made up the largest group of workout music streamers while Finland, Sweden, and Ireland claimed the titles for most active countries.
Additionally, the streaming service found that female listeners preferred Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ "Uptown Funk" for their workout playlists while male listeners tuned into "Till I Collapse." Joining Drake among the year's top workout songs is Cardi B's "I Like It" and Eminem's "Till I Collapse," which is also Spotify's top workout song of all time (another Em track, "Lose Yourself," is a perennial workout favorite).
Released in January of last year, the rapper's lead single was Spotify's top workout song of 2018, according to the streaming service's latest workout trend analysis. With more than 43.5 million workout playlists on Spotify, the music platform routinely evaluates which songs have surfaced as the top motivators for listeners, and this year's results showcase a prevalence of hip-hop in most listener's workout playlists.

Among the most moving was Corden's, who recalled meeting the singer when he was 15:


I recall with fondness the late Limerick TD Jim Kemmy’s introduction of her and The Cranberries to me, and the pride he and so many others took in their successes. "Dolores O’Riordan and The Cranberries had an immense influence on rock and pop music in Ireland and internationally. To all those who follow and support Irish music, Irish musicians and the performing arts her death will be a big loss." "It is with great sadness that I have learned of the death of Dolores O’Riordan, musician, singer and song writer," he wrote.


https://twitter.com/ingridmusic/status/952990400448466944


Shortly after O'Riordan's death was announced, Irish president Michael D. Higgins issued the following statement:


 ” />
Former Kinks guitarist Dave Davies recalled seeing her just a few weeks ago:


Stephen Street, the band's longtime producer, called her "My songbird."
Artists and public figures ranging from Josh Groban to James Corden and even the president of Ireland took to Twitter to pay tribute to Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan, who died early Monday of causes that were unclear at press time.