Gary Carr predicts diverse future for game industry to reflect consumer base
The number of women in the game industry will rocket over the next five-to-ten years to eventually represent 50% of the development workforce, says Lionhead’s creative director.
Speaking to OXM, Gary Carr said handheld devices such as the DS and smartphones were making games more accessible to women.
He said that with so many women playing games now, this needed to be reflected by the developers that made them, with studios set to become more diverse in the near future.
“Isn’t there a stat now that says that 55 per cent of gamers are now girls?” said Carr.
“I think handheld devices and things like the Nintendo DS, these are really accessible, and girls are drawn to the market perhaps more than in our day, where it was either a console or the Amiga or something like that, a PC.
“I think as developers, in terms of job applicants, we’re noticing now that we’re at last getting the diversity we want when you’re coming up with a creative team. I don’t want to sit in a studio full of blokes, I want to be part of a diverse team.
“I don’t just want guys making games for guys. I want guys and girls making games for guys and girls. You have to reflect that in your workforce, and it’s starting to happen. I think that five-to-ten years from now, it’ll be pretty much 50-50.”
The subject of women in games has proven a hot topic of debate in the game industry, with previous accusations of rampant sexism and a male-dominated industry cited as huge barriers to increasing diversity.
Last month Media Molecule studio director Siobhan Reddy said women needed to be more visible in the game industry to help encourage a new generation into development.
She also cited “sad” statistics that suggested many girls had been put off working in technology or games in school by Year 8 because of teachers, friends or even family.
“The thing I know about the industry is that it changes all the time,” said Reddy.
“And I have had a unique experience I think in that I was hired into the industry by a woman, the next studio I worked in I was hired in by a woman, and we actually worked on a game all about crashing cars, which was actually really fun. Burnout was a real favourite with women. Women like visceral fun as much as men do. That was a game that both genders like.
"I think it takes women working on games for games to change. And I know that there are all sorts of discussions about where it is now and where it has been, but I’m interested in where it is going, particularly the type of things we’re making at Media Molecule, and lots of other studios are making games which are for both genders and all ages.”