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Designing for Inclusivity in 'The Sims'

Catharina Mallet  (VP & GM of Maxis & The Sims Franchise, EA)

Location: Room 2016, West Hall

Date: Thursday, March 24

Time: 2:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Design, Production & Team Management

Format: Session

Viewing Experience: In-Person

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: No

In this talk, Catharina Mallet, VP Maxis & The Sims Franchise, Electronic Arts will explain how The Sims' development team operates on a daily basis to make space for employee voices and experiences to be shared, and how this impacts the final product. Driven by a team that is empowered to incorporate its values into each and every step, the talk will highlight how the studio's hiring process ensures the team is welcoming people from different backgrounds and how it is set up to encourage everyone to share and make their voices heard. It will incorporate how the team's personal and cultural experiences have impacted the game and the community in a positive way, in addition to some of the challenges, learnings, and wins of a franchise that is 21 years in the making. Additionally, the impact of the pandemic on the team will be explored, and how the studio's approach to hiring has evolved to meet a changing workforce.


Attendees will walk away with a greater understanding of how they can set up their own studios and teams in a way that not only fosters creativity, but designs for inclusivity from the ground up. Attendees will hear real-life examples of how by fostering an inclusive environment cannot only aid in high employee engagement and retention, but also help grow a passionate player base attracted to the authenticity of the content.

Intended Audience

This talk is intended for leaders of teams developing experiences, games and content for players. Making impactful entertainment is hard. Hiring the right individuals is hard. Engaging and retaining large teams is hard. Change is hard. But working alongside inclusive team members make these challenges a lot easier, a lot more fun, and more likely to yield successful results.