Sledgehammer commits to portraying strong women in its Call of Duty titles

The co-founder and studio head of COD developer Sledgehammer Games has said that the industry must start confronting its diversity problem.

As reported by Games Industry, a 2005 report from the International Game Developers Association found that 88.5 per cent of developers were male, 83.3 per cent white and 92 per cent heterosexual. By 2015 things had not improved a great deal – 75 per cent male, 76 per cent white and 73 per cent heterosexual.

"We’ve tried to do a lot at the studio to present strong women in our games,” Michael Condrey told the site. You’ve seen it today, that the role of women in the military is important so we tried to represent that in Advanced Warfare as a way to show that we believe there are women gamers who want to play, there are women gamers who want to develop games, there are women gamers in the military who are part of real combat around the globe, keeping us safe.

So at Sledgehammer we want to do our part to honour and respect and show that [side of the military]; it’s something we’ve tried to do and continue to do in Call of Duty.”

Condrey stressed that he studio does not positively discriminate towards women. Instead, he prefers the approach of trying to tackle bias through education.

"There is no hard rule or policy at Sledgehammer Games to force any hiring actions that are aligned with this goal, but we are actively working to ensure that we understand how hiring biases exist within the industry, and our own culture, and then being critical of addressing it within our recruitment and promotion policies," he explained.

"I’m surrounded by brilliant women in my professional and personal life, and I live in one of the most culturally rich and diverse places in the country. We have an obligation to be advocates for a future that is better than the ones our parents provided to us, and an industry with improved workplace diversity and equality are areas that I hope our studio can help realize that better future."

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