Johanna Weststar (Professor, Western University)
Jakin Vela (Executive Director, International Game Developers Association (IGDA))
Sarah Spiers (Development Director, Electronic Arts)
Pierre-Luc Labbée (President, rhum.hr)
Location: Room 207, South Hall
Date: Wednesday, March 22
Time: 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
All Access Pass, Core Pass, Summits Pass, Expo Pass, Audio Pass, Independent Games Summit Pass
Advocacy, Production & Team Leadership
Vault Recording: Video
Audience Level: All
The game industry frequently laments the "lack of experienced talent," despite a significant and sustained decade-long increase in the number of people graduating from postsecondary games programs. The problem is not flooding the pipeline with new talent, the problem is keeping highly skilled workers in the industry after they have found work.
According to the 2021 Developers Satisfaction Survey, 38% of employed developers anticipated leaving their current employer within three years, almost 60% figured they would leave within six years, and 21% had no idea how long they would stay. This transiency is even more pronounced for members of marginalized communities.
Clearly, there are ways educational institutions and the industry as a whole can do better in terms of recruitment, training, and retention. This panel examines recent empirical data, existing industry interventions, and explores new solutions to keep talented and diverse game developers in the industry.
The 'talent problem' is not about a lack of skilled workers. This panel addresses the real problem, which is the retention of workers. The games industry will continue to face this challenge unless it can address the self-sabotage of burning out junior employees.
This is for all audiences. It will be valuable to educators, studio managers and human resource professionals, and members of advocacy groups interested in promoting careers in game development. It will be of particular interest to aspiring developers making the transition from school to work and those early in their careers.