Building on Intel’s diversity announcements at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, the world’s biggest chip maker announced that it will work with the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) to double the number of women working in gaming.
As part of this expansion of IGDA’s programs, Intel has already sponsored 40 game development students to attend Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, where the company announced the news.
Intel also said that it will hold the Intel Challenge Katowice, a women’s e-sports tournament, under the same roof as the finals of Intel Extreme Masters beginning March 12.
Intel announced at CES it would invest $300 million in programs that will bring more women and other diverse talent to the tech and game industries. It was a response to a mistake where Intel pulled ads from a game publication after a group of gamers complained about a pro-feminist column. The problem was that Intel then realized it looked bad, because it seemed like it was supporting those with an anti-women point of view. Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich stepped up to announced the diversity program in response.
“We need not only diverse games, but diversity in the industry,” said Pete Baker, a vice president of software and services at Intel.
About 48 percent of game players are women, according to the Entertainment Software Association. But only 22 percent of those creating games are female.
‘We see this disparity even though we are in the 21st century,” said Kate Edwards, executive director of the IGDA, at Intel’s press event. “Intel has been a fantastic partner for the IGDA. We will see great changes in game content.”
She said she hopes more companies in the industry will step forward on issues of diversity. The programs focus on acquisition of talent and retention of talent. The IGDA hopes to double the number of women in games in the next decade.
“We realize that’s something like a space program goal, but that’s why you do it,” Edwards said.
Intel also announced a program to benefit all game developers: Achievement Unlocked.
The program is a coordinated worldwide effort to help game developers succeed when creating games that target Intel Graphics hardware, Intel Core processors, and Intel Atom processors.
A new game developer portal will let Intel communicate with game developers. Achievement Unlocked will also offer improved technical assistance to developers worldwide and additional success mentoring and go-to-market opportunities.
In still another development, Intel said it is helping Indie studio Flying Mollusk use Intel’s RealSense technology, which lets you control a game with hand gestures, to power the NeverMind ambitious bio-feedback enhanced psychological horror game Nevermind.
Intel also cut deals with Ubisoft, Codemasters, and Funcom to develop games using Intel technology.