Meet 100 of the most influential women working in the UK games industry - A - B
Founder, Audio director, Soundcuts
Adele's first industry job was a short-term contract working on cutscene audio for The Darkening at EA.
Although her passion lay with specifically creating audio for animation, EA's head of audio contacted her school looking for recent graduates and students who would be interested in applying. When the contract ended, she was offered the role of junior sound designer, and after working on a variety of titles was eventually promoted to senior audio director.
In 2011, she started her own audio production company, Soundcuts, and has since worked on myriad projects, including mobile games, AAA games, and film production.
Adele's recent work includes Cultist Simulator, Sunless Skies, The Room 3, and the Nickelodeon show Pinky Malinky.
Among Adele's finest industry moments are winning a BAFTA for Theme Park World along with her team, directing actors in the Harry Potter games, and going to her first orchestral recording session at Air Studios.
"Do it -- it's an incredibly fast paced and creative industry to work in," Adele says, advising women considering a career in the games industry. "Working with technology that is able to tell incredible stories and create a wide range of emotions is very rewarding."
Producer, Ustwo Games
Starting out her career as a production assistant in 2015, Adrienne Law soon became an assistant producer working on ustwo's VR title Land's End. After that, she transitioned into a full producer role for the development of Monument Valley 2, and is now working on the studio's next unannounced project.
Adrienne says that Monument Valley 2 is her best achievement to date, as it was the first project she worked on from day-one. As a result, it was a, "really steep learning curve," and working on a sequel to such a respected game came with its own stress and challenges.
"When it was finally released, and we were sat in San Francisco as the game went live, it was surreal and beautiful, and I'll always treasure that feeling," she says.
For women looking to break into the games industry, Adrienne suggested actively seeking out other women and role models to learn from.
"They might be women who are further down the same career path as you, or who've worked on games you love and admire," she says. "Whatever it is about them that makes you feel inspired to do your best work, bring that with you, and remember that you have a contribution to make that is every bit as valuable."
Alex Moyet is one of the UK industry's most prominent marketers. She began her career working on the advertising account for Xbox at McCann Erickson. It was here that she was responsible for launching the award-winning mobile app campaign for Kinect Star Wars.
Since then her career has gone from strength to strength. Alex has worked for some major brands and companies, including PlayStation, Curve, Media Molecule and -- most recently -- Activision, where she worked on the Destiny franchise.
In addition to her marketing expertise, Alex Moyet is also a SpecialEffect ambassador, a BAFTA member, and a member of the Develop Conference Advisory Board.
Feedback Manager, Media Molecule
Alex Perry was 21 and working in games retail before she finally realised that development might be a career option.
"Honestly, despite having played video games my whole life, I'm not sure it had ever occurred to me who made them," she says.
She enrolled on a university course and secured QA and community roles at Rockstar and Square Enix, before landing her dream job at Media Molecule. Now, after four years at the creator of LittleBigPlanet, she works closely with the early community of its new game, Dreams, to help refine it ahead of launch.
Her proudest achievement is starting Game Rats, which organises game development events in London with talks from people all over the industry.
"What started as a bunch of nerds meeting in the pub to talk obscure game mechanics has blossomed into an actual real thing that we regularly sell out," she says.
Perry is keen to see more women join the industry, although she stresses the value of researching companies before applying.
"I'm incredibly lucky to work at a studio with a lot of women, but make sure you're forewarned if you are going to be the only one," she explains. "I've been in situations where I was the only woman in the room.
"I'm enough of a loudmouth that I'm usually okay with it, but it's always important to know what the culture of a workplace is so you can make an educated decision. If you are going to be the only woman, ask why."
Deputy editor, Rock Paper Shotgun
Alice started her career in games with unpaid work experience at Official Xbox Magazine, while she was still at university. She was asked to return for a month of paid work, and ultimately ended up working with an array of well-known journalists.
Afterwards, she freelanced and worked at Videogamer for over two years, before being approached about the deputy editor role at Rock Paper Shotgun. She impressed the editor with a 45-minute slideshow, along with a top-tier DuoLingo score.
Alice advises women trying to break into the industry: "There are some great female and non-binary role models in the industry now, so you don't have to look at what the men are doing. But whoever you're looking at, be you.
"Be you as hard as you possibly can. Because we need you! Getting into the industry is still a struggle, and the door still doesn't open as easily for you. You need to be twice as good as them. So you know what? Accept that challenge.
"Inhale books. Practice writing. Be unashamedly better. Build yourself a crowbar with your work and lever the door open. Then stick your boot in the gap, headbutt the mediocre dude on the other side, charge in past him, and throw your crowbar at an editor's head."
Managing Director and Product Owner, PaperSeven
Though her entire career has been spent by the seaside in Brighton, Alice Guy has proved herself time and time again at a variety of companies both big and small.
She started out as a producer on ATV Offroad Fury 4 at Climax Racing, the developer that would become Black Rock Studio in 2006 when it was acquired by Disney. She held the role of director of production, overseeing QA and audio departments as well as production -- something she describes as, "a steep by brilliant learning curve."
Over the next five years she worked on Pure and Split/Second, until Disney decided to leave AAA development behind, closing Black Rock's in the process. Undeterred, Alice was one of the three founding members of indie developer PaperSeven, alongside her Black Rock colleagues David Jefferies and Ryan Guy.
The work produced by that team is what she is most proud of, with the narrative-driven Blackwood Crossing winning UKIE's British Game of the Show award at Gamescom 2016.
Guy says that, as a woman, it's important to just go for it when it comes to breaking into the industry.
"Get out there. Be confident in your abilities. Make yourself known. Don't be put off by the fact that the majority of studios are still very male-dominated," she insists. "It's changing, but these things take time. Fight, respectfully, for your place at the table. If you see any equality issues then flag them.
"Studios need to focus on creating environments that appeal to everyone. Ensuring there are equal opportunities, no gender pay gaps, and offering benefits such as flexible working opportunities for their female (and male) staff juggling childcare."
Senior Concept Artist, DR Studios
After participating in a live game jam during The Gadget Show at the NEC, Amanda was asked to interview for a role at DR Studios. Following a few years moving between different disciplines, Amanda found her speciality as a concept artist for free-to-play titles.
"I'm very fortunate that I've had a place to grow where every game we make has its own art style, and we get to push our boundaries and chase the next level of visual complexity," says Amanda regarding her work.
She particularly enjoyed the success of the interactive Think Like a Game Developer postcards, which she made to hand out at schools to help children get a glimpse of the thought processes involved when creating games.
"I have so much advice for women looking to join the games industry, but one of the most important is to never give up on your aspirations even if you aren't yet sure how to make them a reality," Amanda says.
"Do your research, focus on what you want to do, and create achievable goals that will help build your confidence and create stepping stones to success. The women of the industry are a wonderful, talented and supportive bunch and we welcome you to join us."
High Priestess of Tools Code, Media Molecule
After seeing the fun office at Big Blue Box (complete with scooter), Amy immediately sent off her CV to every games company in Guildford. After "many, many" rejections, Criterion Games offered her a role in 2001.
She has worked on the Burnout racing games, initially as a general coder, and then a network programmer. In 2007, Amy moved to Media Molecule to be "high priestess of online code" on LittleBigPlanet, a game she loves because it, "inspires players to be creative and express themselves."
Amy advises women seeking to join the games industry: "Please come and join us -- it's an awesome industry to work in, with some lovely people. It's the ideal job for me: creative, challenging, learning new things all the time, and it fits in around my kids. I work two days a week plus some school hours for Media Molecule, and they are absolutely awesome about facilitating work-life balance -- I don't have to look smart.
"There is a huge range of opportunities: from programming, art, design, animation, audio to QA, production, community… So whatever your skill set and passion there'll be a niche for you somewhere. Come to game jams, hone your skills, and apply for any jobs that look fun."
Director of Art Production, Rare
A gamer from an early age (with Amstrad CPC 464 Colour in tow), it was only when Andria graduated university that she considered games a viable means of income.
She began as a junior cutscene animator at Codemasters in 2003, before crossing over to environment art roles in games such as Race Driver 3, Grid and the Dirt series. Eventually, Andria became lead artist across all the studio's AAA racing franchises.
Searching for a new challenge, she found her way to Rare in 2012, where she headed up the environment art team on the Kinect Sports Rivals franchise. These days, she is director of art production at the studio, overseeing the Sea of Thieves art team.
She advises women breaking into the industry: "Don't think about it; just do it. The industry has changed so much in the last 15 years. It's a wonderful place to be as a woman now, in my experience at least.
"Thinking you are not good enough shouldn't be a blocker. You are always your worst critic so the chances are you're better than you think. There are more studios now that are actively looking to represent the diversity of their player base by hiring diverse teams including women."
After leaving university, Anisa Sanusi took her first job as a 2D animator, and quickly transitioned into games with a role at Double Eleven. She then moved toward UI art at Frontier Developments, before taking a at Hutch Games two years ago.
From there she developed a huge passion for the role, and has made it her specialism. These days she can be found prothletising about how fun it is to work in UI and UX in video games.
Sanusi says she is proud to be a Malaysian developer thriving in the UK industry, and hopes to inspire others from her home country to succeed by, "doing what I love and being myself."
"I hope that a new wave of talent coming in doesn't see other women or minorities as competition," she says. "We are sisters, and we lift each other up, we help each other and we share opportunities.
"Be nice, be kind and be generous. I wouldn't have gotten a foot in the door or still be kicking about this long if it wasn't for the support network that are my friends in the games industry."
Account Manager, Indigo Pearl
An internship company put Anita in touch with PR agency Indigo Pearl in 2013, and her games career, "took off from there." The internship a useful way of seeing if the role and office environment suited her. After five months, she was promoted to account manager.
"I've gone from helping others with small tasks as an intern, to looking after my own accounts as an account manager," she says. "This is awful name-dropping, but I'm very proud to work on these titles: Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Pokémon GO, Persona 5: Dancing in Moonlight... They're all things that 12-year-old me never would've even guessed I would come near to."
So far, Anita has particularly enjoyed being Andy Serkis' PA for two days (during Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier), and netting positions in the GI.biz 100, MCV Women in Games, and MCV 30 Under 30
She advises women joining the industry: "Don't be afraid to reach out and make contact to anyone you admire on Twitter. There are so many wonderful hardworking women in this industry, and most -- if not all -- are happy to offer advice, tips, or work experience.
"I've been lucky enough to be mentored by the most amazing woman, Caroline Miller, and she's definitely shaped my life for the better."
Head of Certification, BFI
Despite her successful 14-year career in the games industry, certification expert Anna says she, "fell into it by default."
Progressing from a certification analyst to certification manager, Anna has been a head of the unit since 2013.
It was the video game tax relief fund that led her to be part of the UK games sector, which she has championed and promoted since its introduction five years ago. During that time, Anna has worked with government policy officials, the games trade bodies, and game developers.
"From the outset, I've been keen to ensure that the games sector and developers understand that the games tax relief is a valuable source of finance, and that there is no need to put a red phone box in your game to pass the cultural test," she says.
Anna also helped the games sector partner with both War Child and autism research charity Autistica. Additionally, she has organised four BFI Video Games days and individual panel sessions across the UK since 2014, which focus on education and skills, legal and business advice, storytelling, and diversity and inclusion.
Head of Games – Business Development, Testronic
Ann unwittingly began her career in the industry when she interviewed for the role of telesales manager at specialist video games distributor Centresoft in 1986. She has since worked in the industry for over 32 years, holding roles at US Gold, Gremlin Interactive and Infogrames.
Around eight years ago Ann moved into the "relatively future-proof" area of QA in a business development role. Since September 2014, she has been head of games business development at assurance company Testronic, a firm that identifies as a Women in Games ambassador.
"This industry is amazing, no matter what your talent -- creative or commercial," advises Ann, with regards to women joining the industry. "People with passion will always get noticed, so get connected with people in your field via LinkedIn and ask directly for advice or introductions."
She cites her biggest achievement within the industry as being a part of Women in Games and, "working on encouragement and nurturing to get more women into the industry."
Ann continues: "We have our own initiative within Testronic to get more females into our teams. I am proud to be a part of the industry and this movement."
Writer/Presenter/Video Producer, Eurogamer
One of the most recognisable faces in UK games media, Aoife Wilson actually began her career off-camera, writing review segments for gaming TV channel Ginx. She worked her way up to producer and eventually presenter -- a move she hadn't actually planned at first.
"I never saw hosting as something I'd be any good at and it was terrifying at first, but I'm so glad I pushed myself to try it and keep trying until I improved," she says.
Since then she has become a full-time video producer at Eurogamer, and has done a mix of writing and presenting for major broadcasters like the BBC, Channel 4, Sky Atlantic and CNBC -- proof enough that you should always try to overcome your self-doubt.
"Don't talk yourself out of doing something before you've even applied or tried," she says. "There have been so many roles and opportunities that I was terrified to take on and you can really get into your own head about it. What if I'm not experienced enough? What if I'm no good? What if I mess it up?
"But if you just give yourself the chance, you'll always be surprised at what you're capable of. Being fearless and stepping up to that next challenge is half the fun."
Events Administrator, SpecialEffect
Becky's first ever games job was at Gamestation. Since then she has, "skirted the periphery of the games industry," working in everything from QA testing at Sega to handling promotional materials for development studios.
It wasn't until she found SpecialEffect, however, that Becky found her "home" in the industry. She started as a volunteer for the UK-based charity -- which uses games and technology to enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities -- five years ago.
When an event assistant role cropped up in 2017, Becky enthusiastically applied. Since then, she has taken over volunteer coordination and support for SpecialEffect fundraising campaigns, such as GameBlast and One Special Day.
Her favourite achievement to date is building up the charity's volunteer squad to a growing community of 250 gamers and industry members with its own Discord server.
"I've had a lot of jobs in the past in several different industries: hospitality, retail, education, even a brief stint as a shopping centre Christmas elf, and I can honestly say that I've never felt more supported," Becky advises those looking to break into the industry.
"The games industry has a huge network of strong, smart, loud, powerful, friendly, fierce and fantastic people who are constantly shouting about each other -- lifting each other up and championing bold new ideas. Come on in, you will be welcomed."
Director of Corporate Strategy and Research, Jagex
Brenda Wei joined Jagex in 2016, having just finished her MBA at Cambridge University's Judge Business school. Moving to the Runescape developer gave Wei the chance to apply what she had learned to a new and interesting industry.
Just two years later, in November 2018, Wei was involved in Jagex's large-scale player survey, collecting data from 100,000 players -- her proudest achievement to date.
"Our strong customer engagement and close community interaction means our customers are eager to share their views with us," she explains. "This helps us build a database of information – over nine million data points – that helps drive insights and allow for highly informed decisions to be made to service our customer segments."
Wei says that it's important to find the specific part of your field you are good at when asked for advice about trying to land a job in games.
"Firstly, find your own niche," she says. "This is my first job in the games industry, and it was a 'curated serendipity' in that I was industry agnostic in my job search but was more focused on the function, i.e. strategy. This was exciting as the learning curve into a new industry was quite steep but I could feel progression every day and that's very rewarding.
"Secondly, be open-minded. We work in what is still a young and thriving industry, which means certain well-established processes in other industries might not be readily available. Embrace the unknown and be prepared to grow with the industry."