IGDA condemns abuse within the games industry

IGDA condemns abuse within the games industry

Global trade body the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has condemned the abuse that has been revealed within the games industry.

In a statement, executive director Renee Gittins (pictured) said that it was "heartbreaking" to see how many people within the sector had been preyed upon by abusers and that it was vital to see the failures that allowed this to happen.

This comes amid a new wave of accusations of sexual harassment, abuse and misconduct by staff in the games industry. A number of these allegations have been made against Ubisoft employees, with the French publisher bringing in an external consultant to investigate what has been revealed. A number of staff, including of the company's VPs, have been placed on administrative leave.

Meanwhile, Techland and Gato Studio have cut ties with Chris Avellone over allegations levelled against him.

"Over the past week, brave individuals have shared their experiences with discrimination, assault, and sexual harassment within the game industry and at our events," Gittins wrote. "It is heartbreaking to witness how many people have suffered at the hands of abusers within our industry and to recognise how many more continue to bear their pain in silence. It is imperative that we recognise 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.

"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. If you are in need of support, please use our harassment resources or contact us.

"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.

"We also recognise that change is needed from the top to be truly effective. This does not mean simply writing policies, but truly implementing, upholding, and living them. Our latest Developer Satisfaction Survey showed that while 71% of companies had non-discrimination policies and 64% had sexual harassment policies, only 59% felt those policies were adequately enforced and 65% believe there is not equal opportunity for all within the game industry.

"The IGDA is working to create a compilation of resources for game studio leadership to ensure the cultivation of safe, positive company culture. We need to fix this system from the top down to uproot toxic cultures and harassment. For too long people in power have turned a blind eye to harassment allegations. We must stop this cycle and remove the poison that stops the growth of diversity within our industry.

"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."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.