Celebrate the women in gaming – female founders edition!
By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0)
This week, GDC (Game Developers Conference) was held in San Francisco and brought with it thousands of gaming enthusiasts and designers/producers/artists – the whole gaming ecosystem! Women in gaming came out to represent as speakers and attendees. Special events brought together the women for networking.
Here are women entrepreneurs in the gaming industry to watch, many of whom we saw at GDC. And as always, let us know who we missed in the comments below!
Brenda Romero (Co-Founder, COO & Game Designer, Loot Drop)
Industry veteran Brenda Romero founded indie game developer Loot Drop in 2010. As co-chair of IGDA Women in Games SIG resigned this week after a party hosted by IGDA and Yetizen featured scantily-clad women as entertainment. Follow her on Twitter at @br.
Jane McGonigal (Founder, SuperBetter & Gameful)
Author of “Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World” and thought leader Jane McGonigal founded SuperBetter to help you achieve health goals, and started Gameful for game developers. Follow her on Twitter at @avantgame.
Julie Uhrman (Founder & CEO, OUYA)
Game industry veteran Julie Uhrman founded OUYA, a new video game console powered by the Android operating system. Both inexpensive and elegantly-designed, OUYA raised over $8 million on Kickstarter after asking for less than $1 million. Follow her on Twitter at @juhrman.
Holly Liu (Founder & Chief of Staff, Kabam)
Leader of the people org Holly Liu is a co-founder of Google Ventures-backed Kabam, a social gaming company. Previously, she was in charge of design of all Kabam products including Kingdoms of Camelot. Follow her on Twitter at @hollyhliu.
Margaret Wallace (Founder & CEO, Playmatics)
Digital media executive and game creator Margaret Wallace founded Playmatics to bring rich games and applications to the Internet, in social media networks, and on a variety of connected gaming and transmedia platforms. Follow her on Twitter at @MargaretWallace.
Maria Alegre (Founder & CEO, Chartboost)
Former head of Tapulous Labs, entrepreneur Maria Alegre founded Chartboost as an alternative to traditional mobile game ad networks. Chartboost raised $19 million Series A funding in January 2013. Follow her on Twitter at @marialegre.
Natalia Luckyanova (Founder, Imangi Studios)
An iPhone developer based in Washington DC, Natalia Luckyanova founded Imangi Studios, an independent game development studio based in Washington DC. Imangi’s games include Temple Run and Harbor Master. Follow her on Twitter at @nattylux.
Nicole Lazzaro (Founder & President, XEOPlay & XEODesign)
After 18 years in player experience design, Nicole Lazzaro founded XEOPlay to create social games to improve quality of life and unlock humane potential through play. XEOPlay created Tilt World, the iPhone’s first accelerometer game. Follow her on Twitter at @nicolelazzaro.
Robin Hunicke (Founder & Game Designer, Funomena)
Trained as an artist, engineer, designer and producer, Robin Hunicke co-founded an independent game studio in San Francisco called Funomena. She co-organizes the annual Experimental Gameplay Workshop. Follow her on Twitter at @hunicke.
Shinji Kim (Founder & Developer, ShufflePix)
Game enthusiastic Shinji Kim created her first game ShufflePix, a free iPhone game that turns your pictures into puzzles. Before making ShufflePix, Shinji was a business analyst at Deloitte in New York and an intern at Facebook. Follow her on Twitter at @shinjikim.
Sophia Viklund (Founder, Backcode)
Pasadena-based Python/Django and Unity developer Sophia Viklund co-founded BackCode in 2008 to specialize on game development with emphasis on education and data visualization. She is a founding member of PyLadies in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter at @backcode.
Susan Bonds (Founder & CEO, 42 Entertainment)
A Los Angeles-based entrepreneur with a 25 year career in gaming, theme parks, location based entertainment and new media, Susan Bonds founded 42 Entertainment to make “alternative reality” games. She began her career as a systems engineer.
Photo credit: Official GDC on Flickr.
Women 2.0 readers: Did we miss a female founder in the gaming industry that should be on our list? Let us know in the comments below.
Angie Chang is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Women 2.0, a media company offering content, community and conferences for aspiring and current women innovators in technology. Our mission is to increase the number of female founders of technology startups with inspiration, information and education through our platform. Previously, Angie held roles in product management and web UI design. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.