Back in June, the International Game Developer Association (IGDA for short) had their Director, Kate Edwards, step down. Known to her followers as a fearless, headstrong leader, Edwards finished her fifth year on a strong note, having stood up to controversies like diversity in the game industry, unpaid “crunch” time, and the Gamergate menace.
Since then, the IGDA has been without an official Director. In the meantime, Beamdog co-founder Trent Oster has served as interim Executive Director until a suitable replacement was found.
As of this week, Jen MacLean is the new Interim Executive Director of the IGDA. With big shoes to fill, she fills them well. Starting her career in 1992 at Microprose, she worked alongside industry greats like Sid Meier and Brian Reynold. She joined AOL, at its height, in 1996, where she took the position of Programming Director of the “Games Channel”. She went from there to Comcast as the Vice President and General Manager of Games. She went up the ladder and eventually became CEO of the now-defunct 38 Studios.
Since then, she has remained a loyal member of the IGDA, speaking at multiple IGDA events. She has taken the role of IGDA Foundation head in the past year, as well, which is the IGDA’s charity for game developers. She’s been featured across the industry as a true influencer, even going as far as being presented in both "Game Industry's 100 Most Influential Women" by Next Generation as well as being named one of the top 20 Women in Games by game industry publication Gamasutra.
Qualifications galore, MacLean brings 25 years of knowledge and experience to the role, working her way up the IGDA for this. With 8,000 members in the IGDA, spanning across 190 chapters and Special Interest Groups, MacLean is expected to stay on until at least March 2018, when another Director will be implemented.
Jen MacLean will be joining the Power-Up Digital Games Conference this October 25th to 28th, talking about her role, her past experiences, and the future of gaming. Check it out in the official PDGC Discord server!