The gaming industry has developed a need for gender equality behind its design — and only the smart companies are doing something about it.
The number of female developers in gaming has doubled since 2009. While that number only accounts for 22 percent of game developers, the opportunity exists for the number to grow.
According to a statistical study conducted by the Equal Opportunities Commission, women tend to refrain from careers in gaming simply because gaming is not typically a field representative of women.
Changing the landscape
For the women who do choose to work in gaming, they flock or are assigned to roles in marketing. Rarely do they take on the duties related to the content, character representation, or strategy of games.
Gaming companies aiming to develop a long-lasting product, however, are aware that now is the time to bring female minds to the production phases of their games. According to Quantic Foundry, the number of female gamers is up to 41 percent, and rising steadily each year.
Playing power parity
Assuming the gaming community is headed to a place where it is equally enjoyed by both men and women, product analysts believe that it is in the best fiscal interests of the gaming companies to market more androgynous products. Otherwise, they risk alienating 41 percent of their market base.
USC Games states that a major reason why women do not choose to play video games as often as men do is the way the games are designed. There are not very many women in creative roles at game development companies, so the games tend to lack gender inclusion.
Who’s taking the hint?
Considering the great need for inclusivity, how can more women obtain creative roles in game development? By seeking out the companies that promote gender inclusion, for starters.
Intel, for instance, has invested $300 million dollars toward female diversity in its game division. A smaller gaming company called Zynga has proven to be a success point for women in Silicon Valley, as the company adheres to a realistic work/life balance for working moms.
In the last year, Ubisoft participated in the Women in Gaming Rally at Game Developers Conference, and Microsoft held its Women in Games International networking event, which was sponsored by PlayStation.
The future is female
While the marketing roles at gaming companies are no doubt vital to success, it is important for women gunning for creative duties to settle for nothing less.