Balancing the Scales for Women in Gaming at the India Game Developer Conference

A packed Women in Gaming session shows the strong interest and talent present among female developers in India.

December 01, 2023
Women in Gaming panel - India

Serendipitously, I celebrated my 10-year anniversary of the last time I was in India by going to Hyderabad, where the India Game Developer Conference (IGDC), the largest games industry event in the country, was held. The venue was buzzing with excitement, with everyone from experienced developers to wide-eyed students making video games as a hobby, all equally energized to be there. IGDC proved to be an event to find your next game to play or to invest in, to learn about the latest signals in the industry, and to meet with your old friends and make new connections.

Our Xbox Global Expansion Team is committed to Diversity and Inclusion, and with that, we dedicate a segment to it in our events, as well as making D&I a priority at events we attend. One of our favorites ways to support developers is by hosting Women in Gaming panels, which we’ve done this year at Game Makers Summit in Singapore and IGDX in Indonesia, and we were delighted to make happen again at IGDC.

Women in Gaming panel - India

Moderated by Jia Ling Hoo (Program Manager, Global Expansion @ Xbox), the panel consisted of myself representing Xbox, Mala Sen (Director of Niku Games), Rhea Gupte (Co-founder of, Shruti Verma (Business Lead for India/SEA/Africa @ Epic Games), and Taruna Arora (Country Manager, People & Culture @ Keywords Studios India). We were thrilled to see the session well-attended, despite being at the end of our long day of sessions, proving how important the participation and engagement with and among women in the games industry is.

I remember thinking that entire day about the limited number of women I saw in the crowd during other sessions. During the Women in Gaming panel, however, the audience was noticeably more equally balanced between men and women. Everyone in attendance was there to hear about our stories, the challenges we faced, and the different but familiar journeys we took in our careers. 

Women in Gaming panel - India

Our panel focused on women in the Indian gaming industry specifically, discussing the paths taken by many to get to where they are today and provide advice for other women navigating their way through the industry. To be honest, there was so much interest around this topic that our session could have lasted much longer, making me also believe this is just the beginning of bringing more diverse voices to the stage.

Panelist Mala Sen, also a Developer Accelerator Program (DAP) recipient, shared, “I hope to see more game dev companies being formed In India, creating more opportunities for women to get work in the field. I am hopeful that there will be more women founders in the game dev industry and that more people see it as a sustainable and rewarding field to work in. Thanks so much for the opportunity to be part of this panel. These kinds of events and opportunities go a long way to support women like me who are trying to make it in the games industry.”

Women in Gaming panel - India

Coming out of this session, as well as being at IGDC, showed me the future is bright for the Indian gaming industry as a whole, and there is so much potential for Indian women to thrive within it. It takes courage to start and to lean in, but once that momentum grows, it’s unstoppable. There is no doubt we want more women in the field, taking more active roles, leadership positions and building that path and future for the next generation.

Ironically, as I mentioned, my last trip to India was 10 years ago, for a Women in Leadership program. In a way, this brought me full circle by being able to be a part of this panel surrounded by amazing women leaders in the games industry. I look forward to seeing more women in the audience and taking part in future Women in Gaming discussions in India and other regions. Here’s to Xbox being a part of more wonderful conversations with women who are most certainly learning and lighting the way in the industry.