You may have seen our GDC relief fund efforts over the last few months and the creation of the ELEVATE 2020 accelerator — we are so proud to have supported so many developers in a very uncertain time.
Now we are looking to the future, and would like to tell you more about WINGS.
What is WINGS?
WINGS invests in great games made by teams with strong diversity. We focus on games created by teams with women and developers from marginalized backgrounds at key creative, technical or business positions.
With only 22% of game creators and 12% of game investors presenting as women, we’re creating opportunities for change in the games industry. WINGS is an intervention. The success of diverse teams will lead to more unique ideas coming to life, new voices heard, new games catering to a wider variety of tastes. It will set the game industry as the example it should be in terms of diversity for the rest of the society.
Who is WINGS?
WINGS was founded by Petter Henriksson and myself, Audrey Leprince. We have experience in various areas of the video game industry including development, publishing and producing.
Petter’s background is in programming, and he now handles marketing and business strategy as COO for Landfall Games. As for myself, I have 20+ years of experience developing, producing and publishing AAA and indie games with major publishers and indie studios, like my own studio The Game Bakers. I also created Women in Games France.
Our selection committee consist of women who’ve published successful games. They are experts in all the key areas of game development, such as art, game design, narrative and come from different cultures around the world. They are developers themselves, and very knowledgeable about their industry. The board is rotating regularly and we always welcome new experts and more diversity.
Why does the video games industry need diversity?
Diversity means more creativity, new points of views and new ideas.
We want to enrich the gaming world with new avenues and directions that might not otherwise be explored by existing developers and publishers. We want to enable the creation of games that highlight previously unplumbed cultures, experiences and angles, as well as support diverse teams as they strive to break the norm.
We also want to ensure that diverse teams and games receive proper attention and funding, as women and gender-diverse individuals are often at an immediate disadvantage when entering the video game industry.
The most impactful thing we can do is give access to resources — most importantly money, but also information and advice to developers who are systematically at a disadvantage for this access.
What will having more diversity achieve?
WINGS hopes to provides even more content and range by funding diverse teams and games, as explained by Petter Henriksson, Co-founder for WINGS:
“Not only will there be more authentically diverse representation in terms of characters and stories depicted, but developers, publishers and players will gain a better understanding and acceptance of what games are and can be as a medium.”
As for what WINGS aims to achieve for players, we know that there are improvements to be made in terms of inclusivity in gaming — less than 20% of women who play games frequently feel included in the gaming community. By enabling better and more authentic representation in games through supporting talented diverse teams to develop their own content, WINGS is working to make gaming truly for everyone.
If you’re a team with women or developers from marginalized backgrounds at some of the key positions and you’re in need of funding, we would love to hear about your game!