Coffee Stain launches developer gender-imbalance initiative

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Swedish indie developer Coffee Stain Studios – of Goat Simulator fame – has announced a new funding scheme called Levelling the Playing Field, designed to address the massive imbalance between the number of men and women working in games development.

Currently, the games development world is overwhelmingly male-dominated. But with Levelling the Playing Field, Coffee Stain Studios will finance small studios or startups in which women equal or outnumber men overall.

The initiative has already kicked off, with Coffee Stain Studios helping Danish/Swedish developer Other Tales Interactive with both funding and guidance. Other Tales Interactive co-founder Tanja Tankred said: “It’s great that Coffee Stain are actively working towards diversifying the game industry and we are looking forward to seeing more awesome companies getting the same opportunities.” And Coffee Stain’s CEO and founder Anton Westbergh added: “In the Swedish games industry only 18% of its employees are women. This number is increasing every year, however at Coffee Stain we are way too impatient to idly sit by and wait for true equality in the industry to come about.”

Developers will be able to apply for funding from Levelling the Playing Field if at least half their team is made up of female employees, they require less than 1 million Swedish Kroner in funding (about £90,000) and they have a “small team” – presumably, Coffee Stain will decide whether the latter criterion is fulfilled on a case-by-case basis.

Given that Coffee Stain is Swedish, it would be nice to see a similar initiative take place in the UK. Perhaps Levelling the Playing Field will motivate others to fuel a similar move over here.