Percentage of Female Developers Has More Than Doubled Since 2009

New IGDA survey shows that women currently make up 22 percent of industry workforce.

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) today released the results of a new workplace study. It reveals trends and statistics like a rise in the percent of women in the industry, that the majority of developers make less than $50,000 a year, and that 39 percent of developers who left their jobs did so because they wanted a better quality of life.

The survey results arrive as the discussion surrounding women in the video game industry is heating up. At E3, Ubisoft found itself in hot water over its controversial decision to not include female playable protagonists for Assassin's Creed Unity's co-op mode. And just last week, EA Studios boss Patrick Soderlund said he thinks the reason why there are so few major games with female protagonists is because games are predominately made by men. As it turns out, he's right, according to the IGDA's study. It found that 76 percent of the workforce is male, compared to 22 percent female. That figure is on the rise, however, as women made up only 11.5 percent of the workforce in 2009, according to their previous study.

The study, called Developer Satisfaction Survey, also provides some insight into how developers feel about "crunch" periods. Crunch is the industry term for when a deadline is approaching and a development team works well beyond their normal hours to meet the goal. According to the study, only 24 percent feel crunch is even necessary during the game development process.

The IGDA's 2014 Developer Satisfaction Survey is described as the "evolution" of the group's previous Quality of Life and Diversity surveys. It was conducted with research partners M2 Research and the University of Western Ontario. More than 2,200 developers took part.

Below are some of the most notable takeaways, with relevant information in captions where available. The survey was conducted March 18-April 28 of this year, and responses came from developers across the globe.

While men still dominate, the percentage of female developers at 22 percent is more than double what it was (11.5 percent) in 2009. Also, 2009's study only tracked male and female gender identification.

In addition, 61 percent said they plan to work indefinitely in the game industry.
The average respondent has worked in the industry for nine years and has contributed to 16 different games.
The 53 percent includes people who said that they "disagree" or "strongly disagree" with the idea that crunch is a necessary part of game development.

IGDA executive director Kate Edwards said that the group plans to use these results to better understand its members' priorities and single out the most critical issues affecting their overall satisfaction with the industry. Armed with this data, the IGDA can--according to Edwards--prioritize its advocacy efforts and initiatives.

A summary report of this Developer Satisfaction Survey will be released in July, followed up by additional reports based on developer responses to topics like diversity, quality of life, and employment practices.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
119 comments
supercakefish
supercakefish

They should hire people based on talent, not gender.

ciano1000
ciano1000

They(for the most part) do. The fact of the matter is,is that there aren't many women interested in being a game developer mainly due to the fact that society enforces the stereotype that women shouldn't be "geeky". I would love for this to change,and it is,slowly....if the trend of female devs doubling every 5 years than in 5 years or less than well have a more or less 50/50 split in the industry.

daikkenaurora12
daikkenaurora12

Great.... just put out good games please.  I dont care if its made with a person with a penis or vagina.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

I remember that some people have made remarks that if women want to be represented in the developer community, they should participate.

Well, they are participating now. :P

deadpen
deadpen

2009 Gave us CoD Modern Warfare 2, and since then there has been a Copy & Paste method of game development..................Hum, I wonder if there is a correlation to this?

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@deadpen 

I don't see how there would be any correlation.

What are you insinuating, really?

ciano1000
ciano1000

The only correlation is that you are a sexist prick

deadpen
deadpen

@ciano1000 Thank you Ciano1000 for proving my point.  I'm going to assume you are a female and it would seem you have a bright future as a developer since my comment is 3 weeks old and you are just now catching up to not so current events.


Oh yea how can I be sexist, I love les-bi-ans and would fight for their right to mate. So that checks off two things.

1. I'm not sexist

2. I support lesbian rights

and since it is two women that makes me double not sexist.

ciano1000
ciano1000

I am not female myself,but I felt(and still do)that you're original comment was very sexist and completely uncalled for. More diversity in the industry is a good thing and will bring more diverse and unique experiences to the medium...

deadpen
deadpen

@ciano1000 HA, well then why has it become stale and very stagnate for the past 5 or so years? Fable has suffered with novelty gaming like their kinect game, CoD is a Copy & Paste game trying to hold on to its golden years, Final Fantasy is an update of an update of an outdated game, Mario has used the same Super Mario Bros 3 formula for years, and look at ALL the crap Movie/cartoons turned into games. 

Your "Diversity" translates to "we want money, so make a game that blacks, whites, kids, teens, male, females, and parents like, screw gamers." 

If companies cared about unique experiences then they would not make games that contain 10% play for one group then 10% for another and so on. They would develop separate games for separate groups of people with 80-100% of the game is worth playing for the group that bought it but see that would cost too much.

On the other hand if these diverse developers you speak so highly of existed and brought unique experiences to the table, then why is everything being developed now have a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 14, or 32 after it? 

Here think about this, Home alone was a great movie, home alone 2 was pretty good but still the same movie just in new york. Then you have home alone 3, it is the exact same movie as home alone 1 but with fresh new faces were B list actors at best. Then you have home alone 4 which is a straight to tv movie. 

If you don't get this reference then you do not understand that original ideas are few and far between so no one is bringing anything to the table. Stockholders decide what gets developed. But you keep believing that everything is black and white, that you have a grasp on reality and are in no way a sheep.

Oh yea, my original comment was a question and not a statement but you are so full of hate you can not see the punctuation at the end of the sentence (or do not understand what it means). 

ECH71
ECH71

Are we talking actual developers (coders) or is that the blanket term everyone's using now to describe all the non-technical roles involved in the game-making process?

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@ECH71 @hystavito 

Seems like we will have to wait until July. :/

Why the doubt, really? Do you suspect data-cooking? If you do, why even have such a suspicion?

ciano1000
ciano1000

I say it includes nontechnical roles as programmers(even entry level)never earn less than 60k at large studios....

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

"Women and other minorities shouldn't be allowed to work in the games industry at all, except as E3 booth babes.

Every game needs to be blatantly homophobic, racist and misogynist, and should cater exclusively to straight, white males. If a game isn't all of those things, then... I'm being discriminated against... or something"

flubagalub
flubagalub

@Spartan_418 Also, every game needs to be brown and grey, and feature regenerating health. It makes them more gritty and realistic, or something.

deth420
deth420

Im noticing a direct correlation with the statics here, and the fact that the quality of games are on the decline....

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@deth420 @Aleksanian 

How do you make this correlation really? Have you done research to back this correlation, e.g. looking into the credits lists of games which are poor?

Pupchu
Pupchu

As long as they are capable of producing good games, i dont care if they are male, female or both.

Dissentioncc
Dissentioncc

Oh yay congrats to the now two female developers! You go girl(s)!

BrokenChaos666
BrokenChaos666

I'm glad female developers are on the rise but quite a few of those images have me worried. No wonder a lot of the games we are seeing these days are so....bad. There doesn't seem to be a lot of passion or motivation to create a good product. ):

musalala
musalala

Magnificent click bait eddie

TheLeftHandDoom
TheLeftHandDoom

2% of game developers are androgynous or transgender?  What's the percentage in the general population, .002%?  Does game development just attract that type of person?

BetaVulgaris
BetaVulgaris

@Jawehawk-DK It's gaming related, but I'm sorry that you weren't taken into account when the article was written.

HBninjaX
HBninjaX

@Jawehawk-DK you're supposed to care because whether your private part is an innie or an outtie is more important than your skill as a developer

SJGSpook
SJGSpook

No wonder gaming has gone tits up. This explains a lot. 

Llama345
Llama345

@RedDragonGecko  Because now when there is an article on how there are no strong female leads, you can say oh but what about the doubling of female devs. 

riotinto876
riotinto876

People need to just realize that statistically women do not like games and do not like software development. If you put the two together you will end up with an even smaller number of women, so what is this "we gotta do something about women in game development" non issue? Women just don't like the job, and as such won't go for it. In my years up to completing my master's degree in software engineering I've out of the hundreds of colleagues I've had about 10-12 female, of which not all completed the degree. In my working years I've also rarely found any female co-workers.

People just need to make peace with the fact that in some trades there are more women, and in others more men, it's how life works, why is it always made such a big deal out of when it comes to game development?

Flamingcoconut
Flamingcoconut

@riotinto876  "People need to just realize that statistically women do not like games" You do realize that statistically 50% of all gamers are women. So you're either an idiot, lying, or just plain sexist. Take your pick.

ciano1000
ciano1000

What type of games are they? Is it including games like temple run and other mobile stuff? I don't want to be sexist but in my class in school I only know 1 or 2 girls that are interested in video games compared to 15 males. The reason being is that society doesn't encourage women to be "geeks" but big breasted sexually appealing housewives...its really stupid

Flamingcoconut
Flamingcoconut

@ciano1000 So first of all, basing your opinion on what people do on how many girls you think play games in highschool isn't the best thing. I will say that before the iphone even came out the number of gamers that were women was still 40%

ciano1000
ciano1000

I'm just basing my point on my observation of having being playing games for years. I would love to be wrong,and I hope I am, but I just haven't seen many female gamers.

Kyrylo
Kyrylo

I don't care if dev female or male, as long as it's not people like Phil Fish or Tameem Anotniades. 

Celsius765
Celsius765

@jake198624 If there weren't weird people in this world life would be boring as heck. There's nothing wrong with these ladies being different. Everyone is weird even you. And don't disrespect people you've never met. You call it homely I call it dressing how ever they want because it's their body, they don't have to dress up all fancy to please anyone except for themselves. You don't like seeing ladies in jeans,tshirts and hoodies well sucks to be you, they are comfortable and happy in their skin deal with it

Celsius765
Celsius765

@jake198624 @Celsius765 you can call them homely if you want they don't have to please you with their appearance and odds are they don't care about how attractive another woman is if you dress on the plain side. You can't really them and said other woman will have differing taste in attire so why would they let it bother them. Besides those beautiful woman half the time are usually the ugliest personality wise. They have such an excess of confidence to the point where they're rude and condescending, and in some cases they're dressed to get money out of men. A woman with an attractive personality is what you should look for