Gaming companies like Zynga, SuperGaming, Gamestacy, now.gg, and Gamezop are focusing on hiring more women to make sure their workforce reflects their consumer base as the number of female gamers has increased exponentially since the onset of the pandemic.
They are hiring women in teams working on game design, quality assurance, game development, and product management.
“More than half of the players who play our mobile and casual games are female, and that needs to reflect in our workforce as well,” said Bhavna Talwar, senior director - HR at Zynga.
The US company, which has about 600 employees in India, is focusing on a two-tiered approach: inspiring female students to consider the gaming industry as a career by pairing them up with game designers and developers within Zynga for mentorship, and engaging with female techies through hackathons and gaming networks.
At Pune-based SuperGaming, about 15% of the employees are women, a number that the firm is looking to drive up through referrals.
Hiring is also on for women in teams like game design and quality assurance, said Vandana Sharma, vice president, people, at the maker of MaskGun and Silly Royale games. In the coming months, SuperGaming is looking at rolling out an initiative to have its CEO Roby John mentor women employees for leadership roles, she said.
Some companies such as Bengaluru-based Gamestacy are looking to hire more women in roles of game design so as to create more inclusive games.
“Designing games was something not really done by women in the past, which explains all the shooting and killing in older games,” Danish Sinha, founder of Gamestacy, told ET. “Now, we want more women to lead our ideas, design, and narrative teams on creating more inclusive games.”
The startup has partnered with design campuses to engage with and hire women artists and illustrators.
The $2.2-billion gaming market in India is projected to grow at roughly 30% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) to reach $7 billion — more than 3x in the next five years, according to RedSeer data.
now.gg, which enables gaming communities to play games on any device or operating system, has hired women employees who had taken a break in their career for family reasons and groomed them to restart their professional journey. It has also been driving regular sessions to address female employees' health and career concerns.
Another gaming company, Gamezop, is working on making its interview panel more inclusive so that women candidates have a chance to express themselves better during the interview rounds.
“Currently, almost 42% of our workforce is made up of women, and our focus is on making the work environment more inclusive to retain female talent,” said Gaurav Agarwal, cofounder of the Gurgaon-based company.
The number of people employed in the gaming sector in India is estimated to cross 40,000 in 2022, according to Statista figures.