IGDA Diversity Survey Reveals Shift in Opinion, But Little Action

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(Photo: Naughty Dog)

An annual Developer Satisfaction Survey conducted by the International Game Developers Association has revealed that while opinions on diversity in game development are changing, very little action is being taken to diversify the teams behind some of the most popular game studios around. The survey asked various questions about hiring, workplace environment and production regarding diversity, and the results are less than stellar.

Let's review the good news first: the survey's results state that 81% of game developers say that diversity in the workplace is "very important" to them, which is a boost from 2016's previous rate of 78% and a drastic increase over 2015's 63%. Unfortunately, this popular opinion is simply that -- and according to the survey, developers can see that, too. Only 42% of those same respondents said that they felt the game industry has become more diverse over the last few years, dropping from a more positive 47% in 2016.

It doesn't get much better from there. When it comes to policies for sexual harassment, discrimination and abuse, most of the game industry still hasn't picked up its feet and put procedures in place for a healthy work environment. Only 26% of surveyed developers reported knowledge of formal complaint procedures, and only 21% say that their company has a plan in place when it comes to disciplinary processes. Other data points reveal that full-time employees don't see what they feel is a meaningful set of policies for diverse inclusion in their work spaces.

Jen McClean, the Interim Executive Director at IGDA, said that the association has been seeing high turnover rates within the industry, and concerns regarding long-term job stability. "These results confirm the IGDA's belief that the organization must act to help game developers create fulfilling, sustainable careers," she said.

The report, which can be read here, highlighted several different stats, including education levels and marital status. Unsurprisingly, survey answers on education indicated that 95% of game developers have pursued a higher form of education and hold a college degree.

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Source: Gamasutra