Before starting a new studio with 2K, Michael Condrey was making PS4, Xbox One, and PC games over at Sledgehammer Games, one of the studios behind the Call of Duty series. Before that, he was the boss over at Visceral Games, the team best-known for the Dead Space series, and which has since been shut down by EA. Recently, Condrey spoke to GamesBeat about a variety of industry related topics. One of these topics was representation and inclusivity in games, and how they are a priority for his new studio. According to the industry veteran, having different perspectives brings a lot to the table.
"There are a lot of reasons representation is important," said Condrey. "One is to reflect more accurately not just the gaming community, but the larger global community; both obviously very diverse. But beyond that, as storytellers, creating characters and stories that are told from a place of authenticity only happens when representation exists in the iterative process; when many and varied voices are elevated."
"For too long, game development has been disproportionately skewed to represent males; typically white cisgender males. Many of whom are brilliant developers in their own right. But there are a lot of compelling stories to be told from many other perspectives, informed experiences, and backgrounds.I, for one, would like to hear those stories, meet those characters, and take those journeys. It’s absolutely a priority."
Condrey further noted that making an inclusive and diverse team has been an introspective journey, and that he and his team are committed to making a development environment that invites and welcomes all types of people.
As you will know, there's been an increasing push for studios to be more inclusive and diverse, and many of the biggest AAA studios have created initiatives to do just that. And it seems Condrey's new studio is one of them.
"Inclusivity and representation are an aspirational goal – one we’re making deliberate progress on," added Condrey. "We want every member of the team we build to feel uniquely invested and as much a part of this family – from the people who have worked together with me for 20 plus years to the new hires with fresh experience and inspired ideas. They will make us better."
What Condrey and his team are working on hasn't been divulged. That said, we do know what the new Call of Duty is coming this year in the form of a soft reboot of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.