Game development industry body Tiga has responded to comments made by XNA Chief Architect Chris Satchell at the GameHorizon conference last Wednesday calling for greater diversity in the game development workforce.
“The games industry’s workforce is relatively homogenous," said Richard Wilson, Tiga’s CEO.
"Skillset, the sector skill council for the creative industries, estimates that of the electronic games workforce 8% are women, 3% are from ethnic minorities, few are disabled and the majority are aged 34 or below.
“Games developers want to recruit and retain the best teams available, irrespective of their backgrounds. Developers know that a more diverse workforce could enable them to create games that appeal to different audiences and so potentially expand their businesses."
Wilson acknowledges that developers now know the need to recruit a diverse workforce, calling the potential to recruit more women as ‘significant’ given their overall higher performance at GCSE Maths, a foundation for further study of game-related subjects.
He added: “Games developers need an increase in the supply of mathematics and science graduates to meet their skill needs. This in turn means that primary and secondary schools need to enable more pupils to achieve higher levels of attainment in mathematics and the sciences at GCSE and at A level. Yet Ofsted reported this week that students are increasingly abandoning sciences at A level in favour of ‘softer’ subjects.
“The provision of more good quality teachers is crucially important if we are to reverse this trend. Regrettably only 40% of trainee teachers in mathematics and computing have good degrees (i.e. 2:1 or above). The Government must improve standards in education amongst all groups in society so that games developers can recruit as widely as possible,” he concluded.