The Culture makes up a significant portion of gamers. The Culture has even been used as inspiration in one of the largest game franchises of all-time (the Grand Theft Auto series). Unfortunately that hasn’t translated to as much say behind-the-scenes as it should. The International Game Developers Association suggests that only 3% of game developers are African-American. And that figure that has risen by only 0.5 percent in the past decade. But we do have a few people fighting the good fight and making moves in the gaming industry. Here are 10 of the top African American video game makers in the industry right now.
Saulter is one of the most prominent figures in the gaming industry. He is the CEO and founder of Entertainment Arts Research Inc. the first black-owned video game development company in America. He is also the chairman of the International Game Developers Association’s Diversity Advisory Board. He is also the co-founder of the Urban Video Game Academy and the author of the textbook Introduction to Video Game Technology.
Russell is the Community Manager and Game Designer at Sony Interactive Entertainment of America. He has worked on the long-running MLB: The Show franchise. He’s the face of the game and attends all marketing, public relations, and media events as the representative of the development team.
Mathews is a game developer and founder of Revelation Interactive Game Development with an extensive resume in the industry. He’s worked on numerous games and for numerous studios. He’s also spoken at events from the Game Developers Conference, to Game Con, and the Urban Tech Weekend. He’s taught game design at Houston Community College and is on the advisory committee for the Art Institute of Game Arts and Design in Houston.
Teclemariam is a software engineer and senior product manager Electronic Arts, one of the largest gaming publishers in the world. She has worked at a mobile advertising tech company and even run her own tech start-up and travels the country doing public speaking.
Augustin is the founder and creative director of Notion Games L.L.C. Before launching his own company, he worked for Electronic Arts as a character designer and world-builder for the mega-successful franchise The Sims designing over 400 characters for The Sims 3: Pets. Through his company he has released 7 games the biggest of them being Super Ubie Island for the Nintendo Wii U. He also made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in the gaming category.
Bellamy is the co-founder Hangry Studios, a QA and automation consulting firm specializing in PC, mobile, and VR games. Previously he worked as a lead designer for EA’s famed Maddenfranchise, one of the most high-profile positions in all of gaming. He has also served as Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association.
A true veteran of the gaming industry, Titre-Montgomery has worked in gaming for 17 years and worked on 13 shipped titles including Tiger Woods Golf, The Sims 4,The Simpsons, Dance Central 3, South Park and Psychonauts 2. She has served as Art Director and lead studios from the U.S. to Japan. She is also one of the industries leading advocates for diversity mentoring youth in Oakland and being a keynote speaker at Black Girls Code.
Manns is a game designer, associate professor, and the founder of Sungura Games a company that produces mobile games. He’s previously worked on major franchises including Aliens and Brothers in Arms as a level designer. Mann is also quite active in trying to get more people of color into the gaming industry.
Williams is a designer and director. She is the Creative Director for Matimeo and a Senior Experience Developer/Designer at Microsoft having worked on the ambition Kinect project that turns the user into the controller. She is currently working on VR and HoloLens technology aka the future of interactive entertainment.
Montgomery worked his way from game tester at Sega to lead game designer at Limbic and founding WeAreGameDevs.com a platform for supporting diversity in the gaming industry. In 2016 he went viral when he modded a black Barbie doll into a game developer doll for his wife (fellow game dev and member of this list Lisette Titre-Montgomery) for her birthday after Mattel didn’t create a brown skin tone option for their game developer doll.
We hope you enjoyed our look at African American video game makers. Check out some of our other lists:
Written by @TalentedMrFord
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