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IGDA reveals games industry workforce diversity results

A survey conducted by the International Game Developers Association polled over 6,500 employees to establish the typical demographic makeup of the games industry and answer the question "who makes games?"

The International Game Developers Association has announced the results of a survey which polled over 6,500 employees to establish the typical demographic makeup of the games industry and answer the question "who makes games?"

Respondents answered a series of questions relating to gender, age, sexual orientation, education, ethnicity and disability amongst several other variables. The results, which have been posted on the IGDA website, reveal a largely unsurprising male dominance in the industry.

According to the survey, the industry workforce responsible for the creation and development of commercial videogames consists of an overwhelming majority of males, with just 11.5 percent of respondents being female. If the industry ever expects to attract the same level of revenue from an audience of female gamers, it might seem that challenging the development community's demographic may be the best place to start.

Ethnicity results also showed a marked lack of diversity in the industry, as 83 percent of respondents were white. Black respondents made up just 2 percent of the results, with Asian workers making up the highest percentage of minority groups at 7.5 percent. 92 percent of respondents were heterosexual; just 2.7 percent of respondents are gay and 2.7 percent bi-sexual.

The average age of the industry workforce was revealed to be 31 years old, and 80 percent of respondents have achieved at least a university level education, with the average industry experience levelled at 5.4 years.

In a statement of intent for the survey, the IGDA commented: "As producers of creative products it is important to recognise that we all bring our individual life experiences into the process of creation and our products reflect those life experiences, as well as our ideas and assumptions. A diverse games workforce is therefore more likely to reflect and resonate with the diversity of ideas, experiences and preferences within the market."

Commenting on the results of the survey, which appear to reveal quite the opposite of diversity in the workforce, executive director for the IGDA, Jason Della Rocca, stated: "As an industry, we need to wake up to the fact that games exist in a broader societal context that is constantly changing."

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Paul Loughrey

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