IGDA Developer Satisfaction Survey illuminates thoughts on DEI, crediting

The International Game Developer Association (IGDA) recently released the findings of its 2023 Developer Satisfaction Survey. The new survey shows that respondents generally believe very strongly in diversity within the games industry, but many of them don’t believe the games industry offers fair opportunities for all. When asked if there were equal opportunities for all in the industry, 67% responded, “No.” Most of the respondents suggested that, while they generally had fair relationships with management at their companies, they were less confident in policies relating to complaints and crediting.

The numbers for respondents about the importance of diversity were pretty universal across the board: 85% felt workplace diversity was important, 85% felt game content diversity was important and 87% felt industry diversity was important. Additionally, 58% felt that the industry had become more diverse within the last two years. However, when asked about any workplace programs aimed at increasing diversity, equity and inclusion, 28% said their company had no such programs, and 30% said they didn’t know of any. A majority of respondents said their company had policies on harassment (62%), non-discrimination (72%) and equal opportunity hiring (61%), but only 43% felt they were adequately enforced and 47% weren’t sure.

Another point of contention in the survey’s results is crediting policies. Specifically, only 48% of respondents said their company had a crediting policy for their games, and 29% said they didn’t know if there was a policy or not. 71% of respondents said they were confident their name would appear in the credit of the project on which they worked. However, this number dropped to 41% if they hypothetically left the studio before the project was finished.

The IGDA recently released a strong call-to-action to the industry with regards to the recent epidemics of layoffs, imploring them to “stop driving talent away.” They also created a list of actionable steps that games companies can take in order to help their employees and plan for more sustainable growth. In the survey, 67% of respondents said that relations between employees or contractors and management were either “excellent” or “good.”

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