A survey of game developers done by the International Game Developers Association finds that, among those surveyed, society’s negative outlook and perception of the gaming industry is influenced by media reports of poor working conditions in the industry, rampant sexism in the games and the medium, and a perceived link to violence which hurts the game industries’ reputation.
The IGDA surveyed over 2200 game developers, gathering data on the demographic makeup of the industry, employment experiences and work/life issues.
According to Rated Gamer Gear, when it came to factors that negatively influenced society’s perception of the gaming industry and gamers themselves, 68% of respondents said that media reports of poor working conditions were a contributing factor while 67% said sexism in gaming culture and the wider industry played a role. The survey also found that a major of respondents felt sexism in the workforce fuels society’s negative perception of the gaming industry and 42% of respondents said lack of diversity hurts the game industry reputation within society.
The survey also revealed that the game industry is still a male–dominated industry with 76% of respondents identified as male. 22% of respondents identified as female and about 2% identified as transgender or other. While the percentage of women working in the industry is up from 11% in 2009, the industry still has a ways to go before women and other minorities are equally represented within those who make video games
On work/life issues, 53% said that the industry practice of “crunch,” an intense work period where developers work overtime to complete a feature or product, was unnecessary. This is backed up with a further finding that a leading reason why people leave the gaming industry is due to the poor quality of life the industry offers.
The IGDA carried out the survey to better understand developers’ priorities and critical issues affecting their overall satisfaction within the gaming industry.
Are the results at all surprising to you? Do you have any solutions to helping the game industry’s poor reputation? Sound off in the comments below!