IGDA Survey: Game companies must do more to foster diversity

A new report from the IDGA shows that when it comes to making the games industry a more diverse space, there's still plenty of work to do. 

A new report from the IDGA shows that when it comes to making the games industry a more diverse space, there's still plenty of work to do. 

The International Game Developers Association's 2017 Developer Satisfaction Survey revealed that while the majority of game devs view diversity as important, companies aren't doing enough to foster environments where people from all walks of life can thrive. 

It found that 81 percent of game developers view workplace diversity as "very important," up from 78 percent in 2016 and 63 percent in 2015. 

Yet, despite that positive shift in opinion, only 42 percent of respondents felt the games industry has become a more diverse place over the last two years, a decrease from 47 percent in 2016. 

When asked what devs should do to encourage diversity going forward, the most common suggestion was to focus on "more diversity in game content," while "advancement in game design" was another popular answer. 

Those in full-time employment also hinted at a lack of meaningful diversity and equality policies. 14 percent of employed respondents claimed their company had no such initiatives in place, while an additional 25 percent said they didn't know if their employer had any diversity-related policies. 

Among those devs whose employers do have policies in place, only 56 percent felt they were adequately enforced, with a further 34 percent expressing uncertainty over their usage. 

What's more, only 26 percent of developers said their company had a "formal complaint procedure," with 21 percent also reporting the existence of a "formal disciplinary process."

"We're seeing high rates of turnover and concerns about job stability combined with a lack of support for equality and diversity in the workplace," said Jen MacLean, interim executive director, IGDA.

"These results confirm the IGDA's belief that the organization must act to help game developers create fulfilling, sustainable careers."

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