The proportion of female videogame industry staff in the UK has dropped from 12 per cent in 2006 to 4 per cent last year, according to a new survey.
The British Sociological Association, highlighting results found by University Of Liverpool PhD student Julie Prescott, believed that the reason for the decline was a culture of long hours in the games business.
43 per cent of the 450 surveyed women claimed their well-being had been negatively impacted by the amount of time spent working.
32 per cent of respondents claimed to work in excess of 45 hours a week, 22 per cent between 46 and 55 hours and 10 per cent more than 56 hours a week.
79 per cent of the women surveyed did not have children, while 69 per cent were under 35.
Said Prescott on the decline in female staffers working in game animation, coding, design, engineering and indirect roles such as marketing and HR, "Reasons given for intending to leave the industry tended to suggest women are dissatisfied with their organisations and working environment."
"Flexible working practices would not only improve the image of the industry as a family-friendly working environment, but could also assist in retaining more women, especially women with or considering having children.
"Changing workplace structures, as well as improving childcare provisions would enable both genders to have active careers."
Prescott's study also established that just 35 per cent of female industry employees had degrees - a stark contrast to trade association TIGA's 2009 report that 60 per cent of UK developers.