Kate Edwards, the executive director for the International Game Developers Association, has resigned from her position.
The news comes via GamesBeat, where the IGDA boss confirmed her departure from the organization. Edwards noted that her leaving of the IGDA was amicable.
“I felt it’s time for me to move on. When I first took the IGDA role, I told the board that this is likely a three- to five-year mission for me, and here I am nearly at five years,” Edwards said.
“My top goals were to reinvigorate the IGDA’s relevance, reinstate the IGDA’s core mission as an advocacy org and voice for game developers (not companies), and to emphasize the ‘I’ part of the IGDA and strengthen our international presence.” She added:
“I feel I’ve accomplished all of those things, while enduring a lot of challenges (including weathering GamerGate), and now it’s time for someone with a different skill set to carry the IGDA forward.” Edwards prominently came into the GamerGate debate defending Zoe Quinn, and speaking out on issues of sexism and harassment.
The IGDA at one point was promoting an illicit blocking tool on their official website. The tool, created by a professional victim, was dubbed the “GGAutoBlocker.” Listed as a resource under the “Mental Wellness and Self-Care” section on the Online Harassment Resource page, the tool was later removed due to it raising ethical concerns – most notably the IGDA Puerto Rico chairman Roberto Rosario getting ironically blocked by the tool.
“Read the disclaimer: *not* the IGDA’s tool or list. But like people, tools are imperfect; we’ve removed it for now,” Edwards said when attention was brought to the use of the blocking tool.
Trent Oster, chair of the board of directors and CEO of Beamdog, is stepping up to serve as interim executive director while the IGDA looks for Edwards’ replacement.
In an increasingly politicized gaming industry, many developers hoped the International Game Developers Association would remain neutral by not following the groupthink commonly found in the industry, focusing on helping developers and not promote politics. Perhaps that will change with some new leadership.