The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has spoken out about the recent allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct within the games industry.
IGDA executive director Renee Gittins (pictured) has called the situation “heartbreaking” and “alarming.” She has called for the industry to come together, to find ways to combat the issue to create a safer environment that is “inclusive, supportive, and safe for all developers.”
“It is heartbreaking to witness how many people have suffered at the hands of abusers within our industry and to recognize how many more continue to bear their pain in silence. It is imperative that we recognize the failures that led to these situations and come together to create solutions that ensure the game industry is inclusive, supportive, and safe for all developers,” said Gittins.
“Each and every one of us can help our industry be a safer and more inclusive environment. We encourage you to stand up for your fellow developers against any injustices you witness and know that the IGDA and the game industry at large will support you.”
An industry problem
Gittins went on to explain that the IGDA will create a compilation of resources on studio leadership; this will help to make sure it is a safe environment with positive company culture. Furthermore, she has asked that any developers in need of help contact the IGDA.
“In order to support diversity within our industry, we cannot allow harassers and sexual misconduct to go unchecked. All of the efforts to recruit women are in vain if they are assaulted or made to feel unwelcome within our industry and its events. We must use this as a turning point so that we can ensure that game development and game developers are able to thrive,” said Gittins.
Recently, Ubisoft suspended a number of employees following a high number of allegations, of which the highest-ranked individuals were vice presidents Tommy François and Maxime Béland. However, CEO Yves Guillemot has insisted the French publisher is taking all complaints seriously, with himself following each case.
Across the pond, American firm Electronic Arts have promised to investigate all sexual misconduct allegations made by its employees.
Gittins concluded: “Together we can condemn the failures in our industry’s past and take the steps forward to enact change in our industry that will ensure this wonderful, creative, diverse industry will support every person who contributes to it.”