The executive producer of the highly-anticipated Everwild game has appeared on the first Women of Xbox UK podcast to reveal what working at one of the world’s top studios is really like.
Louise O’Connor was interviewed by Xbox On’s Charleyy Hodson for the visual podcast, which was released on YouTube today.
O’Connor talked about her 20-year career at Rare – which has made hit games such as Sea of Thieves and Battletoads – and her aspirations for the future and her favourite games. She is currently leading the team creating Everwild, which is set in a natural and magical world, and has been described as “truly original and incredibly special”.
In O’Connor’s words, “Nothing exists in the world like it – that’s what Rare does, we make games that the world doesn’t have. That’s our mantra.”
She added: “I’ve worked really hard to build a diverse team. On Everwild we have a female representative in every department, which makes me really happy. But we still have a lot of work to do. I want to inspire people to see the games industry as a true career opportunity. You can be creative, you can earn money, you can build things that the world sees, you can be part of something great, special and interesting.
“Let’s make sure we continue to try to diversify, and get more women into games because the industry will be better when we do that.”
A new episode of the Women of Xbox UK podcast will be released every two weeks, with Hodson interviewing a different guest each time. Upcoming participants include:
- Lydia Winters, Chief Storyteller at Mojang Studios
- Ruby Longoria, from Xbox Global Marketing
- Haiyan Zhang, Chief of Staff at Xbox
- Shannon Loftis, Studio Head of World’s Edge Studio
- Katy Jo Wright, Director of Gaming for Everyone at Microsoft
- Sarah Bond, Corporate Vice president of the Gaming Ecosystem at Xbox
According to the UK Games Industry Census 2020, 70% of people working in the games industry are male, 28% are female and 2% are non-binary workers. Female representation in the gaming workforce is significantly under the national average of those in other industries, including in cultural and creative roles more generally.
Hodson said: “We’re excited to launch the Women of Xbox UK podcast, kicking off today with Louise O’Connor. Louise has been the driving force behind the Women of Xbox UK activity and a huge inspiration to me personally, so I’m really pleased that we had the chance to sit down with her and chat more about her own experiences for this first episode. I’m looking forward to releasing the future episodes in the series with more incredible women from across the Xbox business.”
Women of Xbox UK have also announced a free, virtual gaming day as part of Careers in Gaming Week that aims to show girls aged 10-14 what it’s like to work at a games studio.
The Microsoft DigiGirlz Gaming Day will include a keynote speech from O’Connor, as well as workshops, Q&As and gaming panels featuring women in a variety of Xbox roles, including Hodson; Zoe Harrop, Senior Business Coordinator of Xbox Game Studios Quality; Louise Roberts, Producer at Rare; Amy Jones, Producer at Rare; Emmanuelle Rodrigues Nunes, Data Engineer/Scientist at Studios Quality; Melissa Knox, Producer at Rare; Lisa Humphries, Senior Global Product Marketing Manager at Xbox/Rare and Ninja Theory; Litha Bacchi, Environment Artist at Playground Games; and Elinor Russell, Senior Engine Programmer at Ninja Theory.
The event will be held on Wednesday, March 31. Click here to register