They might not have always been noticed, but there have been incredible women in game development since the industry began in the late 1970s.
Women in games are finally being recognised for their incredible work in multiple disciplines, including voice acting, programming, and writing.
The amazing women listed here are shining examples of the talent and expertise female game devs bring to the industry.
Amy Hennig - Director and script writer
Known for: Uncharted, Jak & Daxter, Legacy of Kain
An American video game director and script writer, Amy Hennig shook up the world of video games with her work on the Legacy of Kain series, especially the Legacy of Kain: Soulreaver, where she acted as a director, producer, and writer.
Most known for her work on the Uncharted series, she also contributed to the PlayStation classic, Jak & Daxter.
Megan Fox - Founder of Glass Bottom Games
Known for: SkateBIRD, Spartan Fist, Hot Tin Roof: The Cat That Wore A Fedora
Having taught herself how to code at the age of 11, Megan Fox (no, not that one!) embodies the ingenuity of the indie games industry.
Even the name of her studio, Glass Bottom Games (a reference to an issue many women in game development are all too familiar with), demonstrates her tenacity and will to succeed.
If you’re looking for games filled with cute critters and fascinating stories, give Hot Tin Roof: The Cat That Wore A Fedora, SkateBIRD, or Spartan Fist a chance!
Lena Raine - Developer and composer
Known for: Celeste, Chicory: A Colorful Tale, Sackboy: A Big Adventure
Known best for her work on the soundtracks of Celeste, Chicory: A Colorful Tale, and Minecraft, Lena Raine is a constant fixture in the music library of any respectable gamer.
But did you know that Lena makes games, too? If you haven’t played ESC yet, you’re in for a narrative treat.
Kim Swift - Designer
Known for: Portal, Left 4 Dead, Half Life 2
Featured in Fortune magazine's ‘30 under 30’ list of the most influential figures in the video game industry, Kim Swift revolutionised the way games approach level design with her work on the beloved Valve titles, Portal and Left 4 Dead.
Her recent efforts to create games specifically for the cloud have helped to ease the strain on Xbox consoles, allowing for a smoother gaming experience on Microsoft’s latest systems.
Ayami Kojima - Artist and character designer
Known for: Castlevania series, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Whether you’re a fan of the Netflix animated show or the classic games franchise, the Castlevania series wouldn't be what it is today without Ayami Kojima.
A self-taught artist, talented designer, and avid shounen-manga fan, Ayami brought beloved characters like Alucard, Soma Cruz, and Simon Belmont to life with her amazing artistic talents.
Her work on Castlevania-inspired Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a perfect homage to the series, while remaining its own unique entry in the Metroidvania genre.
Corrinne Yu - Programmer
Known for: Quake 2, Borderlands, Halo 4
You may be surprised to learn that Corrinne Yu’s work on Quake 2, Borderlands, and Halo aren’t the most impressive parts of her portfolio.
A California State Polytechnic University, Pomona graduate, Corrinne also designed accelerator experiments for nuclear physics research. We’re not saying that research was inspired by video games, but we can’t discount the chance that it was.
Corrinne famously created new lighting techniques and dynamic radiosity algorithms during her work on Halo 4, which were then patented by Microsoft.
Allison James - Developer
Known for: Pong Quest, Maddening Euphoria, Maddening Overlord
Allison James is one of the most prolific creators in the GameMaker community, publishing more than double the number of titles to GX.games than her nearest rivals.
A long-time GameMaker user and former YoYo Games employee, Allison, together with her partner in crime Dan, are the faces of Chequered Ink, the creators of the Atari-backed Pong Quest.
In her spare time, Allison creates fonts, collects Pokémon, and participates in as many game jams as possible.
Kellee Santiago - Designer and producer
Known for: Flow, Flower, Journey
Even if you don’t recognise Kellee Santiago’s name, you’re familiar with her work.
She was a producer on the cult classic Flower, before becoming president of Thatgamecompany during the development of Journey.
Aside from creating games, Kellee is also one of the backers behind Indie Fund, an organisation which invests in and supports the development of indie games.
Nana Moon - Developer and designer
Known for: Keylocker | Turn Based Cyberpunk Action, Virgo Versus Zodiac
A sentient alpaca pretending to be a human (her words, not ours), Nana Moon is the visionary behind the whimsical Virgo Versus Zodiac and the upcoming Keylocker | Turn Based Cyberpunk Action, as well as a proud and vocal GameMaker user.
Nana’s games can be characterised by their engaging gameplay, thought-provoking stories, and gorgeous art directions.
Jade Raymond - Programmer
Known for: Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs, Far Cry 4
We’ve all heard of the Assassin’s Creed series, Watch Dogs, and Far Cry 4, but did you know that Jade Raymond was the mind behind them all?
She started her career at Sony, before moving to Electronic Arts (EA) in 2003 to become a producer for The Sims Online. Her work caught the attention of Ubisoft Montreal, who hired her to lead the development of the first Assassin’s Creed game.
Raymond is currently heading her own independent studio, Haven Studios, creating a new original IP for the PlayStation.
But there’s more!
The number of women in game development shaping the future of the industry is increasing every year. A 2021 survey by Statista showed that 30% of the world’s game developers are female - up from 22% in 2014.
We hope that their influence, talent, and skill will inspire another generation of girls who’ll amaze us with their creations.
Is there a woman in game development we didn’t mention? Let us know!