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Sony Santa Monica head helps lead the charge of women in games

Roughly 20 percent of staff at God of War studio Sony Santa Monica are women a fact attributed to the tenure of studio head Shannon Studstill, according to a profile of the industry veteran by LA Times.

This is atypical of most game studios, where according to results published in Game Developer Magazine 2012 women account for just 4 percent of programmers and engineers, 11 percent of designers and 16 percent of artists and animators based on a survey of 4,000 developers.

"I feel like having a female in the room changes the dynamic in a positive way," Studstill said. "And we should acknowledge that and embrace it and be giving these women the opportunities that they deserve to have a voice at the table."

Statistics regarding women in games remain largely unavailable, however, according to International Game Developers Association executive director Kate Edwards.

"We talk about this issue a great deal, but we have no information on which to take action. We don't know the percentage of women, the positions they're in," Edwards said. "We need to get some kind of scope about what's actually going on, and where to go from there."

The IGDA plans to tackle this issue by launching a survey this month at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco to begin gathering information on employment and workplace details of those attending.

Studstill became senior director of product development at SCE PlayStation in 2011 where she played a hand in the creation of Journey, The Unfinished Swan, Sound Shapes and God of War: Origins Collection.

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