The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has issued a statement on sexual abuse allegations plaguing the games industry.
“Over the past week, brave individuals have shared their experiences with discrimination, assault, and sexual harassment within the game industry and at our events. It is heartbreaking to witness how many people have suffered at the hands of abusers within our industry and to recognize how many more continue to bear their pain in silence. It is imperative that we recognize 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,” the statement, written by Executive Director Renee Gittins, begins.
“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.”
The statement continues on to state that a recent survey showed that 71% of companies had non-discrimination policies and 64% had sexual harassment policies but only 59% of those questioned felt those policies were actually enforced. Furthermore, 65% believed that there is not equal opportunity for all.
“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,” the statement continued.
“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.”
IGDA’s statement comes after a wave of sexual abuse allegations over the past week and a half. Of note, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Creative Director Ashraf Ismail has stepped down from his post as a result of allegations, while Ubisoft has also suspended two executives over similar accusations. A number of Twitch streamers including Australian Brad ‘BlessRNG’ Jolly have also been suspended from the platform, with Twitch promising a “safer environment” for users and viewers.