The International Game Developers Association’s (IGDA) executive director, Kate Edwards, is stepping down after almost five years of tireless work to expand the IGDA’s support for game developers worldwide. Trent Oster, chair of the board of directors and CEO of Beamdog, will serve as the interim executive director until a suitable replacement is found.
“Kate has been an important industry leader for the IGDA in this role, doing heroic work as an advocate for developers of all backgrounds. Her accomplishments have carried the IGDA through tough times and helped countless developers on their journeys,” says Oster. “We look forward to seeing what Kate accomplishes in what is certain to continue to be a bright career.”
During Edwards’ five years as executive director, the IGDA expanded its international reach, establishing chapters in Bangladesh, Egypt, Estonia, Georgia, Tunisia and numerous other locations. Edwards signed more than 300 peer advisory letters of recommendation for game developers trying to get work visas in the U.S.
Under the guidance of the IGDA’s board of directors, Edwards took firm stances on social issues, being among the first to speak out against the misogyny and hate perpetuated by GamerGate and against the detrimental practice of “crunch” time, standing up to the NRA which tried to blame tragedies such as Newtown Connecticut on videogames, and advocating on behalf of the international game developer community when President Trump’s administration recommended the travel ban.
“It’s been a great honor to help game developers from all walks of life, all over the world, succeed in our industry,” says Edwards. “I want to thank the IGDA board, staff and all its members whose advocacy has made a difference for our community, and I look forward to following the association’s continued success.”