The market for games is diverse.
Studies reveal that 10% of U.S. gamers identify as LGBTQ+ and 24% of UK games industry workers identify with another sexuality than heterosexual. In addition, 46% of all game enthusiasts globally are female, once again showing that several stereotypes surrounding gaming are outdated.
How can game publishers and studios adapt to become an augmenting force in this diverse landscape?
In the lead up to becoming the world’s first LGBTQI certified games company, Kinda Brave pinpointed related areas and concrete actions that we believe will help our employees – and in extension our business – to grow and shine.
Here are some of the opportunities that we’re seeing.
Often, for an individual who is considering joining a company, the first experience with a potential new employer is the recruitment process. There are several actions companies can take to make it as inclusive as possible. Here are a few that we ourselves are taking:
As a result, we believe employees will feel safer, more comfortable, happier, and allow themselves to be more creative. And less likely to look for opportunities elsewhere.
First, a simple train of thought: in direct correlation to the above point on finding and keeping talent, we can assume that happier employees generally choose to stay longer with the company. As they feel empowered to do their best work and gain seniority with time, we can also assume this eventually leads to better games. And better games are more likely to engage players and become more successful.
Second, research shows that sustainable businesses – where social sustainability areas such as diversity and inclusion play a big role – perform better. Aside from attracting a sought-after workforce, they avoid expensive conflicts, create better relationships with partners, and are more profitable long-term.
A diverse workforce can reflect this upon their games and player bases. Introducing a diverse cast of main characters, for example, can both make an individual player feel seen and set the stage for unique and exciting stories that attract the masses. Huge gaming franchises like Apex: Legends and The Last of Us are examples of doing this successfully.
One way to get there is to be mindful of tropes, character design and gut instincts and promote more diverse game builds where applicable.
Now, the work is always ongoing. As part of the LGBTQI certification, Kinda Brave as an organization has committed to a three-year action plan. We're lucky to have a Diversity Manager who works dedicatedly with these questions internally, but also externally, giving talks and presentations on related topics.
Interested in learning more? Follow our efforts here on sustainablegaming.com.