As part of an initiative to support women in film and TV, producer Shasha Nakhai was given the opportunity to spend a week at Ubisoft’s Toronto office to learn the ins and outs of game production.
Ubisoft is, of course, the massively successful game studio behind the Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry franchises. However, it received a lot of negative attention when gamers could only play as a male character in Assassin’s Creed Unity. And with Far Cry 4, it (albeit narrowly) decided not to have a female playable character.
Meanwhile, general controversies such as “Gamergate” have revealed the frightening extent to which sexism is still a major issue in gaming.
Given this backdrop, it’s definitely important that gaming companies stop alienating women – who, by the way, make up 48-percent of all gamers – but also make a real effort try to get them to be involved in the gaming industry.
In a video from Ubisoft, Nakhai was given a warm welcome by the company, meeting with producers, programmers, creative directors, sound designers, and the motion capture team. While stereotypes are strong in the games industry, showing the different roles and diverse creative skills needed in modern games helps counteract the stereotype.
Nakhai said the games industry could be an overlooked opportunity for people trained in film and TV. “Even though you don’t have experience in the games industry, your skills can still be transferable,” she said.
However, to work in games, there are a few new things to get used to.
Nakhai said, “Game production seems to take much longer in development, and actually figuring out what you have in the first place. Whereas with a film, you have a script. You can read off the script and say, ‘This is going to be a good movie.’ And in gaming you don’t actually know that until you’ve actually tried it out.”