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EA CEO Andrew Wilson Talks About the Importance of Diversity in Games

November 16, 2016 Written by Tyler Treese

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Since gaming is for everybody, and not just white men, it’s important that games are made by (and for) a wide range of people with different backgrounds. Electronic Arts is looking to do just that, as their CEO Andrew Wilson talked about in an interview with Verge. Wilson discussed the future of gaming, and making games for different communities.

“Diversity is such an important part of this,” explained Wilson. “If you’re going to make games for a community, you have to have a true representation of that community. For the longest time our industry, like every other industry, was very white male-dominated. We’re seeing real change to that now. Some of our greatest creative leaders are women. I think two out of the three biggest games we launched last year were led by really strong, creative women.”

Wilson used this year’s FIFA title as an example of how diversity can impact a game positively, even if it’s just tackling a sport. “We had 19 different nationalities on that team, all [of whom] loved soccer,” said Wilson. “But soccer meant something different to them if they come from Argentina versus Brazil, or if they come from the UK versus Germany, or France versus the US.” He contributes FIFA’s ability to capture “the essence” of football to having such a diverse workplace.

On top of diversity in the workplace, Wilson also discussed the importance of representation in games. “Today the average age of a gamer, I think, is about 35. Nearly 50 percent of them are female, and certainly gaming transcends all forms of culture and gender and background, both socioeconomic and ethnic background,” revealed Wilson. “When you look at some of our games today, you see that we have strong female leads, we have strong black leads, we have strong latino leads, we have young leads to older leads. It’s really important as we design games. … It’s really just the creators inside of our organization saying, ‘Hey, I’m looking at who’s playing our games. We know that they want to look into the games that we make and see people like them so that they can better relate to those games. We want to capture that’.”

Wilson touches on both topics further in the full interview (check it out over at Verge), and it’s great to see that such a major player in the industry has the right ideas. There is no denying that games are for everyone. Seeing more diversity inside the workplace and improved representation will only lead to more types of games being made, and more people enjoying the medium as a whole.

(Source: Verge via GamesIndustry.Biz)