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Lionhead dev predicts that 50% of gaming workforce will be female in ten years

Monday, 2nd September 2013 12:14 GMT By Dave Cook

Lionhead creative director Gary Carr has predicted that the games development workforce will see a 50-50 split in male and female employees within the next ten years.

Speaking with OXM, Carr said, “Isn’t there a stat now that says that 55 per cent of gamers are now girls? 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.”

It’s a commendable approach from Carr that’s for sure. What’s your view on how the workforce may shift in the next ten years? Let us know below.

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49 Comments

  1. GrimRita

    Well if you make it a requirement that you only hire women, what do you expect? A friend of mine applied for a job with Lionhead. He had more experience, familiar like you wouldnt believe in the franchise they wanted to hire for but instead chose a to hire a female who didn’t come close to most of the things they were looking for as standard.

    So, if excuse me Lionhead chief, you are talking out of arse. Applicants should be hired on their ability to do the job not to turn your work place in to a Playboy Mansion!

    #1 1 year ago
  2. VibraniumSpork

    @1 +1

    I also fail to see what difference this’ll make to the consumer. I strongly suspect that even if every game dev had a 50/50 gender split workforce, most video games would still be about shooting/stabbing people in the face.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. GrimRita

    @2 Indeed. Hiring someone should be based on their ability to meet the job requirements, regardless of Sex/age/bad hair cuts etc.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. polygem

    i hope so. this biz is too testosterone driven.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Gheritt White

    Yes please!

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Camfak

    The games will be worse in the future then.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. loci

    @1 Who is your “friend” (who had access to other applicants CV’s) and who was the female?

    #7 1 year ago
  8. DarkElfa

    Am I wrong that I read this news as…

    “We hope to hire more women in the games industry in the future as we can still pay them less than men for the same bone breaking amount of work.”

    According to the International Foundation for Made up Statistics, 90% of all business maneuvers made by the gaming industry are about cutting costs and stuffing more cash in the pockets of their already rich investors.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. schnide

    @6

    Here’s a fun game – why don’t you tell us why?

    @2

    Rubbish. Look at the kind of movies that women make compared to men, or the kind of books that they write. Are you seriously trying to say that the more violent tendencies attributed to men that bleed into games wouldn’t benefit from being countered by the inclusion of more (or indeed, any) female figureheads in the industry?

    #9 1 year ago
  10. viralshag

    @9, I think it would really depend on what position they were within the company/industry.

    What influence is a female programmer going to have in how a game turns out that would be different to a male programmer?

    #10 1 year ago
  11. Fin

    @7

    +1+1+1+1

    “familiar like you wouldnt believe in the franchise they wanted to hire”

    PROTIP: Playing a lot of games doesn’t automatically make you suitable for a role.
    Best programmer I know of in the games industry is female and hadn’t played a console since PS2 when she was hired.

    As an aside, given a male and female candidate with matching qualifications and skills, I’d hire the female. Less ego and other bullshit to deal with.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Dirk

    What we’re looking at is women getting jobs just because they’re women, that’s the very definition of sexism, you don’t fight sexism by being sexist. It will apply to both genders, someone will turn up hoping to get their dream job and will be told that they’re not suitable due to their gender, that’s going to turn very ugly, very quickly. Discrimination is discrimination regardless of the thinking behind it.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. DarkElfa

    Nearly every comment here that is against this happening simply because they’re women seems to be driven by a “boobs belong in my games, not making them” kind of though process.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. DarkElfa

    @12, I understand what you’re trying to say Dirk, that what need to change is people’s conceptions of women in the industry.

    However, until that magical day arrives, if the Chronicles of Riddick taught us anything, its that in normal times, evil would be fought with good. But in times like these, well, it should be fought by another kind of evil.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. redwood

    I really hope (if this happens) that game development quits it’s obsession with young male fantasies, (guns and girls) and we get games with a wider appeal. i know alot of people who have grown out of gaming simply cause of the macho-factor.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. DarkElfa

    @15 There will always be a place for big boobs and big guns as with all things media, but I think we are already starting to see gaming try new things.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. PEYJ

    @11

    “As an aside, given a male and female candidate with matching qualifications and skills, I’d hire the female. Less ego and other bullshit to deal with.”

    If that’s not a prejudiced social construction…

    #17 1 year ago
  18. Gheritt White

    @14: Agreed! Positive gender discrimination in the videogames industry workforce isn’t just a good thing™, it’s vitally necessary.

    Dirk, unless you’re in dev, you really don’t know what you’re talking about.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. YoungZer0

    @8: http://youtu.be/EwogDPh-Sow

    That is all.

    @11: “Less ego and other bullshit to deal with.”

    A+ for misandry.

    Dunno how many women you had in your workplace, but I had the complete opposite experience. A lot of drama, scheming and backstabbing. I’d still hire a woman if she was more qualified and social then the male part.

    The Personality of a person is not determined by their sex.

    @12: Word. Someone gets it. It’s already happening by the way. People being hired or refused for because of their sex.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. yeoung

    Regardless of your genitals, getting a job in this industry is hard as balls. The last thing we need is more divisive dogma, expecially when it’s based on anything other than craftsmanship or artistry.

    Modern society is built from the ground up to prepare young men and women for jobs they themselves choose, in whatever field of interest they choose. Would it be nice to have more women in gaming? More midgets? More Honolulians? Irrelevant. It is a non-issue.

    #20 1 year ago
  21. Gheritt White

    @19&20: BALLS. The *only* people who would say it’s a non-issue are people who don’t actually work in the industry.

    We desperately need more women at all levels and in all disciplines across the industry – especially in design – and the sooner the better. The fact it’s so male dominated means we lose out on a valuable perspective – that of actually being female, rather than just approximating that insight or viewpoint.

    Also, you like Legacy of Kain or Uncharted? Well, you can thank Amy Hennig for that. Enjoyed Portal? That’s Kim Swift’s baby. Women have proven they can make GREAT games and I’d like to see more designed by them.

    PS: I know that games have to be credited to more than any single individual, but if you can attribute BioShock to Ken Levine or MGS to Hideo Kojima, then so can you do the same with Portal and Kim Swift etc.

    #21 1 year ago
  22. schnide

    Anyone with a viewpoint that even remotely resembles the idea that we don’t need more women in the games industry should seriously examine their relationships towards women.

    And I strongly suspect the answer that comes back will be that they don’t have any – which probably speaks for itself.

    #22 1 year ago
  23. YoungZer0

    @21: “We desperately need more women at all levels and in all disciplines across the industry – especially in design – and the sooner the better.”

    Sure that would be great. But hire them because they are qualified and not because they are women. Quotas are bullshit. I’ve seen it first hand.

    Is there a law in place that forbids women to work in those places? Have videogame developers made sure to exclude women from the studios? No?

    Then how is that the fault of the industry? They are not to blame if people do not apply or are not qualified enough. People are pushing for more women in the STEM field and although the majority college graduates are now women, they do not want to work in those fields. How is that their fault!?

    If these women decide not to apply for those jobs because they don’t want to, that’s their fucking decision.

    I love Amy Hennig, but she got the job because she’s a fantastic writer and not because she’s a woman. She stood out from the rest because she worked hard. As do other writers who happen to have a penis.

    Positive discrimination is bullshit. It lowers the standards for everyone.

    #23 1 year ago
  24. Gheritt White

    @23: You’d soon change your tune if you worked for even just one month at a studio, for reals.

    #24 1 year ago
  25. Phoenixblight

    @24

    I agree with YoungZero and I work in the studio. Its the simple fact we don’t get enough women applying and when we do they are not as qualified as their male counterparts. Its doesn’t matter what is between their legs. If they can’t pull their weight they aren’t getting hired. Gender equality works both ways.

    #25 1 year ago
  26. YoungZer0

    @24: You would too if you worked with under-qualified personnel that was hired because they had to fill in a quota.

    #26 1 year ago
  27. Gheritt White

    @25: Then we’ll have to agree to disagree. I for one would appreciate a far more gender-neutral workplace, especially when it comes to issues such as female character design or how we make certain modes more inclusive etc.

    #27 1 year ago
  28. YoungZer0

    @27: Do you work at an indie studio? For a publisher? Do you work in the creative department?

    Because most of the time it’s not the character-artist who decides to make the armor sexy, it’s their art-director who might’ve gotten the order from the games director who heard it from the publisher who heard it from his marketing team that said “Sex sells”. It’s a big chain of bullshit.

    I don’t think character-designers go out of their way to make the most sexist armor possible. As long as chains like this exist, female character artists won’t change that. See Mari Shimazaki who designed the characters in Bayonetta.

    #28 1 year ago
  29. noamlol2

    i smell bullshit

    #29 1 year ago
  30. Gheritt White

    @28: I work on AAA, if you must know, and am intimately aware of the flow from the brand team downwards, thankyouverymuch.

    #30 1 year ago
  31. DSB

    @30 Yo Gheritt. Hey Gheritt. Hey Gheritt.

    Gheritt, I want to get in on the Destiny beta Gheritt.

    #31 1 year ago
  32. Gheritt White

    @31: So do I…

    #32 1 year ago
  33. DSB

    … Okay so it’s not Bungie.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJSSmjMN1nE

    #33 1 year ago
  34. yeoung

    @Gherrit:

    While I understand and share your appreciation for female designers, and could in fact name a few outstanding ones myself, it does not detract from the focus point of my message.

    [Currently working on my first indie project with a diverse (if small) team, genderwise (3/2 M/F). Great fun, btw.]

    Any craft could benefit from as you call it “a fresh perspective”, it is no different for carpenters or painters. That said, interest or realistic pursuit of these careers originate on a cultural level.

    Certain fields are dominated by certain genders largely due to cultural and sociologically stimulated interests. Favouring one gender over the other in any capacity on a corporate level is rendered axiomatically illogical by the motivation therefor being to introduce fresh perspectives.

    The supposition that a fresh perspective is gender dependent/specific is something I find hard to agree with as well. You of all people should know of the fierce competition around positions with AAA devs, as I myself am certainly familiar with it. For every woman that does not make that cut, 20 men also don’t make it. It’s a good thing the AAA scene in itself doesn’t constitute the gaming industry, wouldn’t you say?

    In short: Yes, I’d welcome an influx in female designers, artists, etc. Would I want this to be “regulated” in some way in order to create an illusion of gender-balance? No.

    #34 1 year ago
  35. DarkElfa

    @25, exactly what studio do you work in? We’ve been hearing about how you’re some magical studio insider for years.

    Either cough up some proof or shut up about it.

    #35 1 year ago
  36. Phoenixblight

    @35

    I don’t have to cough up shit. You either believe me or you don’t. The result is the same. Dealwithit.

    #36 1 year ago
  37. Fin

    Gheritt is right.

    I too work(ed) for AAA console dev. We need more women in the industry.

    Anyone who says otherwise plainly hasn’t worked in the fucking industry.

    #37 1 year ago
  38. Gheritt White

    @36: Damn straight, you’ve nothing to prove here.

    @37: Agreed 100%.

    #38 1 year ago
  39. yeoung

    @Fin/Gheritt:

    Honestly that’s more of a cop-out than a legitimate argument or base of your assertion, but ok, guess we’ll go with the agree to disagree thing then.

    #39 1 year ago
  40. Fin

    @39

    Let me explain this to you very simply, see if you understand:

    We all work in the industry.
    We all say the industry needs more women.

    What’s the problem with that? How can you disagree with a better gender balance being a good thing?

    Thing is, people harp on and on about how games are stagnating. About how every game looks the same. About how all we get is modern military shooters (which is not the case, it’s just what has the most marketing). Maybe if there’s a better gender balance, different games will be made.
    What’s so offensive to people about wanting more women in the industry, regardless of reason.

    #40 1 year ago
  41. Phoenixblight

    @40

    THat doesn’t mean just grabbing the first woman that applies for a job when her skills don’t match. THat is just filling a quota. Yes we need more women in the industry but that doesn’t mean they should take a position because of her chromosomes especially if she can’t pull her weight.

    #41 1 year ago
  42. Gheritt White

    @41: Oh Jesus, nobody’s saying that. Where did anybody say that? But, like the guy from Lionhead said, I don’t just want to work with guys making games for guys. I want work with guys and girls making games for guys and girls. At the moment, part of the reason the videogames industry is so male-dominated because it presents itself as being male-dominated – anything we can do to make the work more appealing on a gender-neutral basis would be fantastic.

    PS: I know FAR more guys who don’t pull their weight than girls… but that’s only because there are FAR more guys in the industry!

    #42 1 year ago
  43. Phoenixblight

    @42

    I am with you there 100%. I am a huge fan of Kim Swift and Amy Hennig. Their games have been the most interesting to me than dudeBro game #123098408.

    #43 1 year ago
  44. Gheritt White

    Well, precisely :)

    #44 1 year ago
  45. yeoung

    The point of contention is the practicality of the matter, not the intention. Skewing in-take procedures to favour female designers over male ones in an effort to broaden traditional gaming paradigm, seems to defeat its purpose.

    I’m merely questioning your logic of placing the responsibility of cultivating more female game designers in the hands of development studios. That is what I infer to be your solution to having a more gender neutral workplace. I appreciate the sentiment, but not the approach.

    Working in the games industry does not immediately grant one insight into proper business management.

    #45 1 year ago
  46. Fin

    Y’know where the first mention of quotas was? The fucking comments section.

    The article didn’t mention quotas, none of us mentioned quotas.

    @45

    I still don’t understand what you’re trying to say.

    “I’m merely questioning your logic of placing the responsibility of cultivating more female game designers in the hands of development studios.”

    What’s the problem with doing so? How else are they going to be cultivated?

    #46 1 year ago
  47. Gheritt White

    @45: Not working in the games industry means you don’t know what the fuck it is you’re actually talking about..

    #47 1 year ago
  48. Pitts

    Where is it mentioned in the article that there is some quota system?

    Like Affirmative Action, that would surely be shit. But since I don’t see that… all I see is a bunch of people inventing a reason to be offended.

    #48 1 year ago
  49. Phoenixblight

    @48

    Some commenters had mentioned and that is why I brought it up. I am not offended by this. I am just saying you can’t get a woman just because the industry needs women.

    #49 1 year ago

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