Less than nine percent of Australian game developers are female, according to a new report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The latest ABS findings show that of 581 people employed as game developers, only 51 are women.
This 8.7 percent gender gap is in itself shocking, but equally troubling is the rapid decline in the size of the industry itself.
The last time these statistics were published in 2007 there were over 1400 game developers in Australia – nearly triple the current figure.
As the number of developers has declined, so has the percentage of female developers; in 2007 over ten percent of game developers were women.
“We’re a fairly new and small game studio, but we still get cold applications every week or so from developers looking for work,” Flat Earth Games co-founder Rohan Harris told Kotaku.
“Depressingly, the ratio we’ve found of male to female applicants is about 20:1, and of the female developers who’ve contacted us, only one has been a programmer – the rest have been artists or designers.”
The Australian game industry has gone through a number of major setbacks in the past two years with several rounds of layoffs and studio closures.
This may partially explain the decline in the number of developers, but it’s hard to say what exactly has widened the gap between men and women in the industry.