Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson has spoken up to discuss diversity and representation in the Battlefield publisher’s games and among the teams who make them. In an interview with The Verge, Wilson said the makeup of the gaming community today is far more diverse than it used to be.
“Representation is really important,” he said. When I started playing games, we could squint and see 200 million players. Many of those players were 14-year-old boys playing in their mother’s basements. That was really what gamers were. There was this negative connotation about what being a gamer meant. Today the average age of a gamer, I think, is about 35. Nearly 50 percent of them are female, and certainly gaming transcends all forms of culture and gender and background, both socioeconomic and ethnic background.”
EA’s ambition when thinking about representation inside of its games is to “capture the true nature of the community that’s engaging in that content,” he said, adding that EA is already doing this.
“When you look at some of our games today, you see that we have strong female leads, we have strong black leads, we have strong Latino leads, we have young leads to older leads,” the executive explained. “It’s really important as we design games, and that wasn’t really any mandate that we made as a company, and it won’t be any mandate that we make going forward.”
Instead of being a mandate from EA higher-ups, a push towards better inclusivity occurred organically, Wilson said. “It’s really just the creators inside of our organization saying, ‘Hey, I’m looking at who’s playing our games. We know that they want to look into the games that we make and see people like them so that they can better relate to those games. We want to capture that.'”
On the subject of diversity among EA developers, Wilson said there needs to be measures in place to improve diversity.
“Diversity is such an important part of this. If you’re going to make games for a community, you have to have a true representation of that community,” he said. “For the longest time our industry, like every other industry, was very white male-dominated. We’re seeing real change to that now. Some of our greatest creative leaders are women. I think two out of the three biggest games we launched last year were led by really strong, creative women.”
Go to The Verge to read the full interview.