Brendan Greene, mastermind behind PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, believes there should be more women in the gaming industry. Speaking at the VIEW Conference (a computer graphics event held annually in Turin, Italy), he lamented the fact that a job posting cannot specifically ask for a certain gender. Because of these restrictions, his 25-person Special Projects team in Amsterdam only has one woman on it.
Diversity is what he's calling for since even though his team comes from all over the world, they're almost all male. The recruitment guidelines that he and all companies are bound to specify there cannot be any discrimination in job adverts, which means he can't tell recruiters, "I've had enough of men, we want to see more women in gaming!" no matter how well-meaning he might be.
"We will give them a job description, and we will tell them 'this is the kind of team we're building', but we can't tell them we want a diverse selection of people," Greene said at the conference. He added, "They will just give us stuff. And as a result, I have one woman on my team, and I hate that."
In his talk, -first reported by GamesIndustry- he certainly realizes that you can't hire women from a pool that features very few of them. To this end, he says he has worked with the human resources team at PUBG Corp to see if there's anything driving them off. Part of the reason for this could be the nature of a game like PUBG. He estimated that the audience was made up of 70% to 80% men, adding that most shooter games are "probably the same."
In his opinion, forcing diversity right now will not yield any real results. "It's fine to want 50/50, but right now there isn't that diversity in the industry. We have to start earlier. We have to be going to the schools and say 'Listen, do you want a job in games? Then please come... There's something for you here within gaming. Come and be a part of the fun.'"
Jan-Bart van Beek, animation director at Guerrilla Games, was participating in the interview with Greene and agreed. He said women in animation would love to achieve 50/50 representation as soon as possible, but he doesn't believe it can happen that fast organically.
The number of women in gaming is growing. Only last weekend, collectible card game Hearthstone got its first female champion at a tournament who spoke about the hostility she has encountered for being a woman. Additionally, more than half of all women who play video games are harassed when they reveal their genders online. All this leads to an environment that not many women are willing to be part of.
Greene is probably right: education could bring about some long-needed changes, but women are not the only ones in need of one.