Candy Crush Saga developer King explains why diversity in the video games industry is so important. King’s employer brand and culture manager Natalie Mellin says that diversity in King’s workforce is necessary “we want to continue to make great games that appeal to such a vast audience”
Mellin is just one of several games industry figures to voice their support for a diverse games industry, with one Uncharted 4 dev saying diversity is as important as gameplay while one Ubisoft executive recognised the games industry isn’t doing enough to encourage diversity.
Candy Crush Dev King on Diversity in Games
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Mellin says that “We need to take this seriously and ensure that we continue to push for a more diverse company so that we don’t fall behind commercially.” King’s playerbase, which includes millions of people playing games such as Bubble Witch Saga 3 and Candy Crush Jelly Saga, is “quite evenly split between female and male players,” says Mellin.
The King executive says that “it’s important that we continue to hire more female talent who can relate to the millions of women who play our games.” Moreover, “If we want to continue to make great games that appeal to such a vast audience then we need to make sure that our company is made up of people from different backgrounds, cultures and nationalities.”
According to the interview, King, which was acquired by Activision in 2015 for $5.9 billion, has several practices in place in order to hire underrepresented candidates. The King HR department gets “inclusion nudges” to think about how and where the candidacies are advertised and six people from different parts of the business take part in the hiring process to ‘minimise’ the “risk for one person’s unconscious bias taking part of the decision making.”
But although reports “show that an increase in diversity can result in an increase in productivity, innovation and even revenue,” notes Mellin, King can’t solve the lack of diversity in gaming by itself. The King manager says that “No company will succeed on its own here” and that “There are a lot more educated women and minorities that are interested in the industry nowadays.”
“We need to show role models together with others in this industry to show girls growing up that this as a viable and interesting career option to pursue,” says Mellin. Pro-diversity comments by industry figures, including EA (which believes in diversity at its core) and Blizzard (which says that diversity ‘really inspired’ Overwatch) are a start, but even more companies both big and small will need to take action in order for the games industry to be both diverse and inclusive to all developers and players.