You may have seen this hashtag on Twitter and wondered what it’s about. Raise The Game is an initiative started by The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) and is designed to “inspire meaningful cultural and behavioural change in all games companies” by promoting good diversity and inclusion practices. By promoting good practices, games companies which have made the pledge will inspire more studios into improving their own practices.
Businesses which have pledged to the program will have to implement practices which aim to improve diversity and inclusion in the areas defined by the pledge pillars, these are:
UKIE’s goal is to have 200 games-based businesses signed up by the end of 2021, reaching more than 50% of the workforce. Raise The Game is also open to games companies outside of the UK.
The Legacy Project
The Legacy Project was started by Creative Assembly (CA), a UK based company who are the developers of the Total War series of games, the latest being A Total War Saga: Troy. It was originally a social responsibility project started in 2012 but as the studio grew from 200 to more than 700 individuals, so did the project.
The center of the project stems from education, and promoting the educational pathways kids can go down to get into the games industry. As education beyond Further Education (in the UK, this refers to education undertaken between the ages of 16 and 18 and covers all qualifications lower than a degree) is increasingly becoming a privilege due to the costs of student loans, CA recognises that this disproportionately impacts BAME children and children from low income backgrounds. This generally would not be an issue, but it is well known that having a degree is a barrier of entry to obtain a role within the games industry’s workforce. However, even with less young people choosing to undertake a degree, the desire to study STEM related subjects is increasing.
To counter these issues, The Legacy Project “works to give people the skills and information to help them become the game development talent of tomorrow”. This is done through the following ways:
The impact of The Legacy Project has been great. After taking part in experience days organised by CA, young people have gone away to change their GCSE options so they are able to pave their way into the industry, and schools which CA have worked with have continued to see a continued uptake in students choosing to study a Computer Science GCSE.
What We Think
We love what UKIE and Creative Assembly are doing, and one day we hope to have the resources to follow in their footsteps. They have paved the way for other studios and businesses to follow suit, and we love to see it. By combining these 2 brilliant initiatives, we believe that the UK games industry is on its way to becoming more diverse and inclusive.
However, there is one thing that is greatly lacking in the games industry - apprenticeships. We’ve already discussed how less young people are choosing to study for a degree due to the cost, and therefore the industry is missing out on important talent. More games related apprenticeships would counteract this as students would be able to get a degree, effectively for free as the company pays for it, as well as get vital experience by getting a job in the games industry itself. In the future, Dyak hopes to offer apprenticeships, but there is a long way to go before we have the resources to do so.
We think that the UK games industry is in great hands, and is definitely going in the right direction in terms of inclusivity and diversity. We can’t wait to see it grow and the positive impact that #RaiseTheGame, The Legacy Project, and other initiatives will make.
If you would like to find out more, you can click on the links below.