On Wednesday, June 6, 2018, Jam City hosted the WIMMIES Game Changers event. Standing for Women in Media, the WIMMIES—though usually focusing on women working across all aspects of digital media and marketing—celebrated women making an impact in the games industry. The evening featured a rockstar panel that included Jam City’s VP Publishing, Vanessa Rouhani; Jam City’s VP, Consumer Insights, Lisa Spano; Social Media Influencer and Entrepreneur, Meghan Camarena (aka Strawburry17); Electronic Arts‘ Senior Director of Mobile Publishing, Autumn Brown; and Mobcrush’s Business Head of Sales, Nina Kammer.
Golin’s Director of Digital, Tiffany Everett, was the panel’s moderator and opened discussion on the state of the games industry with topics that included how the industry has changed to include women in the work place over the last 10 years; defying the social stigma of the typical “gamer” that game companies primarily market to; advice for women trying to get into gaming; and great areas of opportunity for women in gaming.
The WIMMIES hosted female designers, publishers, marketers, product managers, and data analysts across the games industry and even invited women with a passion for games working outside the industry.
Before introducing the panelists, Jam City’s Executive Producer for Panda Pop, Rachel DiPaola, presented impressive numbers that prove mobile is dominating the games space over PC’s and consoles. Citing App Annie’s review of App Store data and NewZoo’s quarterly update of it’s Global Games Market Report service, Rachel stated, “In 2018, the mobile games market will generate $70 billion. Last year, although games accounted for only 31 percent of downloads, they represented 75 percent of consumer spending. Total, there were over 4.5 million apps were released in the App store and 77 percent of those were games.”
Nina Kammer’s advice for women who don’t play games yet still wish to pursue a career in the games industry was simple, “You don’t need to be a gamer to be in the industry.”
When an audience member asked the panelists about great opportunities for women in gaming, Autumn Brown responded, “Everywhere. There are so many unique jobs in the in gaming industry.”
“Don’t think just because you’re good at doing one thing means you’re only capable of one thing,” said Vanessa Rouhani.
Social Media Influencer Meghan Camarena, a Mario Kart and Pokemon enthusiast, spoke about the challenges that come along with creating content around your own personal brand and offered a solution to those looking to overcome those obstacles, “Think outside the box and think how you can differentiate yourself. If you’re passionate about a game, let that guide you; developers will notice that.”
All the women on the panel pointed out the changes they’ve seen in the gaming industry over the last few years in both consumer behavior and workplace diversity.
“I remember the first gaming convention I went to,” remembered Vanessa Rouhani, “I was the only female in the room. It’s exciting, now, to see more and more of my peers in the games industry be female.”
Nina Kammer also commented on the industry’s evolution saying, “We’re going to see a lot more games made for PC and console get tailored for mobile,” referring to Fortnite’s expansion into the mobile platform. “The market is changing.”
Vanessa Rouhani shared her thoughts on the WIMMIES towards the conclusion of the event. “Women are doing incredible things in gaming right now and breaking all the stereotypes of what the “typical gamer” is. I am so honored to have joined such a remarkable group of women at the WIMMIES Game Changer event. The industry has come a long way since I first got into mobile gaming 15 years ago and I am more excited than ever about the future!”
Lisa Spano provided the evening’s final thoughts and explained how Jam City has seen success thanks to the diversity woven into company’s culture. “Numerous reports indicate there are more female mobile gamers than male. Despite the shift in player demographics, women are still under-represented in the mobile games industry, particularly at the leadership level. I’m fortunate to lead a diverse research team at Jam City and believe diversity is critical to the success of our games. Not only has diversity led to a variety of perspectives and new ideas it has allowed us to relate better to our players and create gaming experiences that resonate emotionally with our audience.”