WOMEN IN THE GAMING INDUSTRY
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Bytro, a German-based game developer and publisher that is part of Stillfront Group, has organized a virtual discussion panel with some of the women in Stillfront’s studios. With Cecilia Luna from Bytro as a moderator, Mariela Tzvetanova, CMO of Imperia Online, Diala Deeb, PR & Comms of Babil Games, Anna Weingarten, Server Dev from Goodgame Studios, and Anastasia Nefed, Data Scientist at Bytro.
The purpose of this panel was to uncover certain gaming industry myths, such as:
- “Only men play video games”
- “Women are not interested in gaming jobs”
- “You have to be a gamer to work in the gaming industry”
One of those myths is debunked by Anastasia, as she shares with us some statistics from NewZoo, Google Play, and ESA – such as 45% of US gamers are women, 64% of women gamers prefer mobile games, and other fascinating insights. To add to that point, Anna shares her story of how she grew up joyfully playing video games; however, they were different types of video games than the boys their age played, as there are several games that were targeted for young girls.
Another myth debunked, is the notion that women are not interested in gaming jobs. Both Mariela and Diala speak about their experience regarding this point, and how, on the contrary, lots of female applicants are actually excited for a position in the gaming industry!
As for the last myth, Diala and Mariela share their stories on how they got into the gaming industry even though they aren’t gamers, but rather other aspects of their personality and professional skills have helped them start their career in gaming. On the other hand, both Anna and Anastasia are gamers who landed jobs in the gaming industry, and they also share their stories.
Furthermore, the discussion also focuses on the representation of both genders in games, such as oversexualizing female characters in certain games, while in other games, strengthening women and having them as the protagonist rather than simply a sidekick or a “to-save” character.
Anastasia and Anna share insights on how the gaming industry is evolving in terms of the representation of women in games:
- According to Wired, in 2015, only 9% of video games had female protagonists, versus 18% in 2020.
- The evolution of Tomb Raider is also a great success for the representation of women in games
- Several games are giving players the choice to choose between a female or a male protagonist
- Horizon Zero Dawn is a game that has a female protagonist: Aloy and which represents her in a very strong and independent way
The women of Stillfront Group share their experience with their male colleagues and talk about how they actually push them harder and create a comfortable workplace for them to be as creative and as efficient as possible. And, as part of this global giant group, we are lucky to be working in such an environment, where others are not fortunate to have, and actually face a lot of difficulties and misogyny.
The panelists carry on to discuss what they think companies can do in order to balance the participation of women.
From a PR perspective, Diala shares how there are different, creative ways on how to reflect the culture of the company to the public such as sharing achievements and success stories of female employees, and how certain topics can in fact alter the perception of women in the gaming industry. Diala also talks about how at Babil Games, 55% of senior positions are filled by women, and how the culture at Babil always pushes females beyond their limits and gives them equal opportunities, no matter their experience, age, or position.
To further empower women who are considering entering the gaming industry, each of the panelists, based on her experience and point of view, give a well-sound and genuine piece of advice.
Here’s what our panelists advise young women who are thinking of entering the gaming industry:
Lastly, the discussion ends with how it’s actually kind of difficult to research for female “Top CEOs” as it’s not something that’s easily found if you type into Google, as everyone in that list was a male. You literally have to be very specific with your research and use “Women CEOs in the gaming industry”. And so, each panelist chose one female industry hero and shared why they did so. To know who these heroes are, watch the full panel discussion here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co4Im-mXPnA