10 Most Influential Women in Games of the Past Decade

Amy Hennig, Creative Director, Naughty Dog

Amy Hennig, Creative Director, Naughty Dog

Gaming Angels has a list of women they consider to be the ten most influential women of the past decade. The list includes people like Naughty Dog Creative Director Amy Hennig (Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves) and Ubisoft Producer Jade Raymond (Assassin’s Creed, Assassins Creed II). In no particular order, they are:

  • Lucy Bradshaw
  • Kim Swift
  • Jade Raymond
  • Corrine Yu
  • Megan Gaiser
  • Kellee Santiago
  • Amy Hennig
  • Deborah Mars
  • Cammie Dunaway
  • Christa Phillips Carter

Head on over to Gaming Angels for the reasons why these women were selected.

What do you think of the list? Are there any industry women you think should have been on the list?

17 thoughts on “10 Most Influential Women in Games of the Past Decade”

  1. Interesting list. Bit of logicfail there, though:

    “The title had early uproar from various websites because the game was built around the mechanic of feeding your princess cake so she would weigh more and be harder to kidnap. In the end, Deborah and her team proved that Fat Princess is an incredibly fun title.”

    Those two statements have little to do with each other. The game can be fun (which it apparently is) while still being problematic in its handling of women / obesity (which it probably is).

  2. This list seems to be fair enough and nothing have to be add if we only consider the current decade. Listing influential women in games reminds me a lot some other women of the 1980-90′s games industry… Sierra was probably one of the first studio to hire some very creative women (writer, novelist, designer) as game designer, e.g.: Roberta Williams (King quest series), Jane Jensen (Gabriel Knight series).

    I think we definitely need to have a list for the previous decades, because I believe that there are others women that have contributed in many great and influencial games of the 90′s (and certainly for the 80′s). If someone is interesting to dig in this direction, let me know, I will be happy to make some researches with someone concerned and motivated about this period.

  3. Loved Jane Jensen’s work back in the day, but other than that I wouldn’t know who to add. Don’t follow the industry workings that much.

    Kotaku comments on this article were solid gold though.

  4. No mention of indie/casual games in there?

    I’m not going to try and argue for my own inclusion, but I would definitely argue for replacing Deborah Mars with Amanda Fitch, as I do not see any way in which Fat Princess has been *influential*. Amanda’s success with JRPGs in the casual game market, though, has coughed up a lot of imitators in her wake.

    1. To be honest, I don’t think I agree with Hennig’s placement on the list. She is definitely awesome plus awesome and is doing really, really good things at Naughty Dog but I don’t know that she has really been all that influential in the industry…yet. The Uncharted games have made a big splash but I think it’s going to be a few more years before their influence is really felt industry-wide. At the rate she’s going, I think she’ll probably be a shoe-in for one of the most influential women in the next decade but I guess it feels a little to early into the Uncharted series life and popularity to assess its impact in the long run to me.

      1. I have to defend Amy Hennig’s spot at the list. What she did with the Legacy of Kain series was marvelous. The series is very intelligent, well voice acted (Tony Jay, Michael Bell and Simon Templemen are the lead characters), and innovative design (RT switch from the underworld to the living world). If you have a chance, please pick up a copy. There series is on permanent hold, sadly, and since the studio has lost most of its original design team and acquired Lara Croft’s right, I doubt there will be a sequel which is too bad because the last installment ended on a cliff hanger.

        1. From my understanding of the Legacy of Kain series, it was the first two installments (Blood Omen and Soul Reaver) that were the most important/well received and those are both from the 90′s.

          I have played bits of Blood Omen and Blood Omen 2 and tbh, I thought they were boring and didn’t have any desire to pursue the series anymore. I know it’s an important series though, but I wasn’t under the impression that the installments that landed in the 2000′s were regarded as particularly important achievements within the industry.

        1. I think the LoK series, despite its age, is exemplary gaming. Players are treated like thinking adults who want quality entertainment for a change, not button mashers trying to Skinner box their way to some pixel pr0n. The series indicated that Amy Hennig was always interested in making high quality and innovative games, the same way PoP:SoT shows Jade Raymond’s skills. The last installment couldn’t out sell Tomb Raider (sadly, what does?), but it ironed out a lot of the game play and story related issues. from older games.

          Blood Omen 2, sadly, was not by the same development team as the series and the lack of quality shows ( a lot of it is scavenged parts form a cancelled title the just slapped the LoK franchise logo on). Soul Revear, Soul Reaver 2 and Legacy of Kain: Defiance are the ones the LoK development team worked on.

          More development info here is you like:
          http://www.thelostworlds.net/

  5. My personal pick for inclusion would be Paulina Bozek, who was the Executive Producer and Game Director of the SingStar series of games. I wrote a post about her last year for Ada Lovelace Day.

    1. Hell yeah ! Thank for mentionning Braithwaite, I totally forgot this one and most of all, I didn’t know her book… (BTW, did you or anyone, already read it ?)

  6. There are is one detail I found a little troubling about the article. In a couple of instances, the author focuses on womens’ personal appearance, style of dress, and beauty, seeming to cite those traits as part of why they are influential in the gaming industry. I had hoped that the list was all about professional achievements, rather than appearance, but the author seems to think that, in at least two instances, appearance is a significant enough factor when selecting at least two of those women for the list, that she mentioned it.

    I was also a little disturbed by the fact that one of the women the author chose to call attention to, in terms of beauty and appearance, was Jade Raymond. As I think most of us are aware, Jade Raymond was the target of the most vicious, misogynistic, and hateful attacks based upon the fact that she is an attractive woman and was the spokesperson for a AAA console game which, in some circles, was not deemed to be a good game. And in those sexist circles, they chose to attack the game by attacking Jade Raymond’s appearance. So I wonder why Gaming Angels is calling attention to Jade Raymond’s appearance in the context of her being an influential woman in the industry.

    Surely one of the reasons a top 10 list like this exists is to battle against the proliferation of “Top 10 Hottest Game Women” lists that litter the games press, but I wonder how it can work against those appearance-based top 10 lists by also calling attention to women’s appearance in a list that seems mostly to be about their accomplishments.

Comments are closed.