The video game industry has recently launched several initiatives to improve its diversity. Data from the Entertainment Software Association showed that American gamers are currently almost evenly split between men and women. However, employment demographics paint a very different picture.
According to date from the International Game Developers Association, men accounted for 71% of game developers globally. Women make up only 24% and non-binary a mere 3%. In terms of race and ethnicity, 69% identify as white and only 2% are Black. Even big industry events like Gamescom and E3 are male-led.
In 2020, the discrimination against women in the industry manifested in different controversies. Ubisoft’s chief creative officer Serge Hascoet allegedly behaved inappropriately around women and prevented the inclusion of a female character in the game “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.” Hascoet and two other executives resigned after the company launched an investigation into misconduct allegations.
Wales Interactive’s trailer for its video game “Gamer Girl” received sharp criticism for having a female game streamer controlled by her livestream’s chat moderator. Naughty Dog faced an online backlash after Laura Bailey, a voice actor in its survival horror game “The Last of Us 2” received death threats on social media. NNESAGA founder Stephanie Ijoma commented that the industry has not kept Blacks, ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ and women safe.
To address the diversity and inclusion problems in the video gaming industry, Evil Geniuses CEO Nicole LaPointe Jameson said that investors have an important role to play. She noted that the bulk of investments in the industry comes from venture capital investors.