It’s no secret that the video game industry has long been dominated by male developers. In fact, according to a study released last year by International Game Developers Association (IGDA), women still only make up about a quarter of developers in the industry. Fortunately, that’s double the number of female developers in 2009.
Despite this improvement, it seems the folks at Electronic Arts would like to see more women enter the industry and take on more important roles at development companies. At least that’s the thinking of EA’s COO, Peter Moore.
In a recent interview with Fortune, Moore revealed that the gaming giant is working to lead the charge, by increasing not only the number of women in their office, but also encouraging women to helm major projects at Electronic Arts. According to Moore:
“We’ve gone from the personification of what we believe women should look like in a video game, to actually involving women in making video games, to today where at Electronic Arts we have some of our most powerful franchises overseen by women who manage hundreds of men.”
EA currently has numerous women in leadership positions for upcoming triple-A titles. Sara Jansson currently works as executive producer on the studio’s upcoming game, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst; Sigurlina Ingvarsdottir is senior producer with Star Wars Battlefront at DICE; Rachel Franklin is executive producer of The Sims 4; Samantha Ryan is a senior vice president and general manager in charge of EA’s mobile initiatives; Amy Hennig is creative director at Visceral Games working on a new Star Wars game; and Jade Raymond is leading EA-owned Motive in Montreal.
While it’s nice to see some positive changes happening in the industry, women haven’t always been celebrated like they are today. In fact, it can be argued that it wasn’t until last year’s Gamergate controversy that people became truly aware of the issue. In his interview, Moore mentioned Gamergate and the influence it has had on EA over the last year:
“You can look at the last twelve months with everything that has gone on with Gamergate, that it’s made us all pay attention to this issue. When we talk about what I call D&I, Diversity & Inclusion, at EA, it’s never far from our minds when we make hiring decisions.”
It’s apparent in the gaming industry that women are getting more say and opportunity, but it’s likely the true affects of this shift won’t be felt for another few years. As girls in middle and high school start to see more opportunities open up for women in the industry, it’s likely colleges will see more female enrollees seeking the training and degrees they’ll need to enter the industry. It’ll be interesting to watch this shift over the next few years.
What do you think about Moore’s comments on women in the industry? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.