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Ex Call of Duty/Dead Space Boss: Inclusivity Is Absolutely a Priority, Telling Other Stories Is Important

Jun 25
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Former Call of Duty (during his tenure at Sledgehammer Games) and Dead Space boss (at Visceral Games) Michael Condrey recently joined 2K where he is currently founding a new development studio in Silicon Valley.

Speaking to GamesBeat at E3 2019, Condrey discussed industry-spanning topics. He said that representation and inclusivity are a priority for his new studio, chiefly because telling other stories from different backgrounds and point of views is important.

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There are a lot of reasons representation is important. One is to reflect more accurately not just the gaming community but the larger global community; both obviously very diverse. But beyond that, as storytellers, creating characters and stories that are told from a place of authenticity only happens when representation exists in the iterative process; when many and varied voices are elevated. For too long, game development has been disproportionately skewed to represent males; typically white cisgender males. Many of whom are brilliant developers in their own right. But there are a lot of compelling stories to be told from many other perspectives, informed experiences, and backgrounds. I, for one, would like to hear those stories, meet those characters, and take those journeys. It’s absolutely a priority. And what we’re learning is that the process of creating a more inclusive and diverse team is an introspective one as much as anything. We are committed to creating an environment that invites, honors and sustains inclusivity and representation through candid dialogue, trust, and responsibility.

But inclusivity and representation are an aspirational goal – one we’re making deliberate progress on. We want every member of the team we build to feel uniquely invested and as much a part of this family – from the people who have worked together with me for 20 plus years to the new hires with fresh experience and inspired ideas. They will make us better.

Condrey also provided a brief status update on his 2K Silicon Valley studio.

I’m grateful every day for the team we’ve assembled and the support we’ve received from everyone across Take-Two. The commitment to an independent studio model, with the backing of a proven publisher that has delivered the reach of Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, NBA2K, Bioshock and other mega-franchises, is rare and one that I tremendously value in the partnership with 2K. I’m thrilled with the progress we made in only a handful of months and with the team of 30+ industry leading developers that have joined the studio. One universal truth about this industry – teams that have had success together are the biggest predictor of future success. We’ve hired a lot of new industry faces too and those adds bring really remarkable insights and ideas to a core team that has celebrated together from James Bond to Dead Space to Call of Duty WWII.

We’ll be sure to let you know once they unveil their first game, though it may be a while given that the team is just getting started. In case you’re possibly interested in applying for a job there, you can find the current openings at this address.

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