The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has engaged in political advocacy within the games industry for the past 25 years since it’s founding in 1994, and as a force for representation for thousands of game developers across the globe, the non-profit has been doing a bang up job. The group has taken on a variety of issues over the years, with a wide variety of impacts within the industry. For example, the organization has been working to tackle toxicity and harassment within gaming for the last few years.
In September 2017, Jennifer MacLean was appointed as interim Executive Director, before being confirmed permanently to that position in February 2018. MacLean has worked within various companies over the years since beginning her executive career within gaming in 2008 at 38 Studios, taking over multiple positions such as Senior Vice President of business development, and moved into the position of CEO within the next year.
Under her guidance, the IGDA has grown exponentially over the last couple of years. This expansion includes new chapters in Pakistan, Istanbul, Kenya, and Fortaleza, Brazil. Under her leadership the IGDA also helped found special interest groups for Latinx and Muslim game developers, along with special interest groups for Analytics, Game Art, and Games for Health.
However, good things don’t always last, as Jennifer MacLean has announced on Twitter that she has resigned from the IGDA, and will vacate the position on April 14th.
IGDA chair Luke Dicken will take over the position in the interim until a permanent appointee is found sometime in the future. You can find the full announcement from Jennifer MacLean down below:
It’s my last week as the Executive Director of the IGDA and IGDA Foundation, and I’m a jumble of emotions. I resigned from both positions few weeks ago, and my last day is April 14.
I’m super excited about the new opportunity I’m going to, which will allow me to continue to support game developers around the world on an extraordinary scale, and I’ll be sharing more details soon.
I’m very proud of how far the IGDA and IGDA Foundation have come over the past few years. The organizations are stronger than ever before. Over the past 20 months, the IGDA grew to 111 Chapters around the world, 36 Special Interest Groups, and over 50 Studio Affiliates, and we gave our community an unprecedented amount of financial support.
The IGDA Foundation sent over 175 amazing people from 6 continents to game conferences around the world, with travel stipends, studio tours, mentors, and exclusive Q&A sessions and workshops. We truly made a difference in the lives of aspiring and current game developers, and I know the orgs are well-positioned for the next Executive Director(s) to continue this wonderful positive momentum and do amazing things. And most of all, I’m profoundly grateful for the thousands of people who have supported the IGDA and IGDA Foundation in some way while I was the organizations’ Executive Director.
From our members and participants to our volunteer leaders, from our sponsors and partners to our exceptional Staff and Boards of Directors, it has been such an amazing experience working with all of you to help game developers around the world.