Game Industry Standards

The game development industry stretches across the entire world and is composed of a diverse set of developers, varying in disciplines, identities, and backgrounds. Even with such diversity, there are standards that all game developers, studios, and companies within our industry should uphold. 

The IGDA is sharing our own standards and definitions for the game development industry. We aim to lead the industry to greater heights to be a fulfilling and sustainable industry for all with these standards. Violation reports of these standards will be tracked by the IGDA and provided upon request on a per company basis to IGDA members and press. If you would like to make a report, please fill out this form and a member of our team will be in touch with you within 7 business days.

Know that we are working tirelessly to support all game developers and will be updating and adding to these standards as we continue to move forward. If you have any feedback, additional standard requests, or would like to help translate these standards into additional languages, please contact us.

Report Handling

The intention of these reports is to guide companies to best support their employees, contractors, partners, and growth within the industry. Reports will be carefully reviewed to ensure that they are submitted from someone within the game industry who has had interaction with the company to avoid fraudulent reports. The IGDA also understands the importance of protecting those who submit any reports from backlash and will anonymize all reports. The current reporting process is as follows.

  1. A person submits a report through this form.
  2. The IGDA verifies that person is within the game industry and has interaction with the company
  3. The report is anonymized and stored
  4. The IGDA reaches out to the company about the reports submission, informing them of the IGDA’s industry standards and directing them to resources and support to help correct the reported issues
  5. The company’s response to the report is stored or a note of no response is stored after one month from initial contact
  6. Both the report and the company’s response become available for query from IGDA members and press

Code of Ethics 

As creators of interactive media, we, the members of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), recognize the importance of the effect of ideas conveyed through art, especially the effect of ideas presented in an interactive choice-driven format. As professionals, we here establish a code of ethics with the following objectives:

  1. To promote the growth of our industry and the growth of creative endeavors;
  2. To ensure a professional standard of workplace environment for all development; and
  3. To publicly establish and communicate our standards as media professionals.


Game Crediting Standards

Employees are often mislabeled, unlabeled, or left off the credits. In fact, a 2006 IGDA Game Writers Special Interest Group survey revealed that 35% of respondents either “don’t ever” or “only sometimes” receive official credit for their efforts.

The IGDA Developer Credit Special Interest Group formed the IGDA Credit Standards Committee to develop this set of guidelines to assist in the crediting process. The mission of the IGDA is to advance the careers of game developers and we believe that employers effectively and accurately assigning credits are crucial to that process.


Crunch, Unsustainable Work, and Management Abuse Definitions and Standards 

The game industry has struggled with a concept commonly referred to as “crunch”. Crunch is used to describe the act of employees working overtime in order to meet a deadline in the development of a project. Yet, in the game development industry, where we are constantly faced with challenges to balance the creation and tuning of complex coded systems with publisher deadlines and the intangible concept of fun, overtime work frequently occurs. 

There are varying opinions on what types of overwork falls under the term “crunch”, but regardless of situation dependent definitions of crunch, there are two important, related concepts that can be defined: unsustainable work and management abuse.


Event Diversity Standards

The game development community is composed of a wide array of people with different genders, ethnicities, abilities, and other characteristics. Game development events and the leaders speaking at them should reflect the full range of diversity of game developers and players. Diversity, equity, and inclusivity efforts support the growth and strength of the game development industry. 

The following set of resources and guidelines are intended to enable organizers to reflect upon and improve diversity and representation at their own events, and to empower speakers and event participants with a set of tools to provide constructive feedback to events not meeting these standards.