April 18, 2022
On February 23, 2022, Entertainment Software Association (ESA) President and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis spoke at a D.I.C.E. state of the industry town hall alongside Xbox General Manager, Creator Partnerships Jen MacLean, Unity Vice President, Accelerate Solutions Ryan Peterson, Tencent Games Global Vice President of Partnerships Pete Smith, Epic Games Director Unreal Engine Business, Games, David Stelzer and moderator Todd Martens of the Los Angeles Times.
The conversation touched on a wide range of pressing topics, including video games’ emergence as a platform for social connectivity during the COVID-19 pandemic, how companies are approaching the creation of the metaverse, NFTs in gaming and efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion.
“You’ve got to invest in the current employee base you have by creating opportunities for development, growth and promotion,” Pierre-Louis said regarding diversity, equity and inclusion in the industry. “And you’re seeing that with companies creating employee resource groups, ERGs, so that affinity groups feel safer, and they’re not alone. And then you’re seeing it in investments in all kinds of organizations like Black Girls Code and Girls Make Games, trying to generate interest in the new pipeline.”
Video game companies are also prioritizing diversity in terms of in-game representation, as well as behind the scenes.
“I think one of the most important things for us to keep in mind as leaders is first and foremost, representation matters, not just in terms of the characters we show in our games, and how we help creators use their voice and tell their story and speak their truth, but also in terms of the teams that we are building,” Taylor said.
Watch the full town hall discussion here: