Women in gaming: Interview with the Art Director at Fusebox Games

Article written by Andy Turton, Director of X4 Technology.

I had the opportunity to interview Katie Jackson, the Art Director at Fusebox Games as part of the Women in Gaming series. Fusebox Games is a leading developer of some of the most popular and well-known story-driven games, with their most recent being the Love Island game, which has been played by more than 12 million players globally.

With 12 years’ experience in gaming, Katie shared insights into her career and advice to studios struggling to attract and retain female talent, as well as her thoughts on what will be the next fastest growing trend in gaming.

What do you enjoy most about being the Art Director at Fusebox Games?

What I enjoy most is the actual role of managing a bigger team and the area of growth Fusebox is in at the moment is exciting. My role as an Art Director as Fusebox is really interesting and creative as I get to work alongside a big team of writers.

Personally, I’m interested in interactive storybooks which is more in-depth than just a traditional Gameplay.

What kind of improvement, change or growth are you trying to achieve right now?

We are looking to become a multi-product studio and we’re also looking at our own IPs development too. In order to do this, we’re focussing on growth and talent. We started with 5 people, and over 2 years have grown to 50 and this is likely to continue as we support these exciting new developments.

What’s important to you when choosing a gaming studio to work for?

The culture is really important. Engaging with team members and making sure that both they and you feel involved. Over the past few months engaging socially on a remote basis has been massively important.

Any advice to gaming studios struggling to attract top female talent?

I think it’s more about the benefits and policies around the remuneration being published. A real draw to Fusebox was the facilitation of 4 months paid maternity which showed its family orientated side of the business. This can make a big difference on who is retained and attracted.

Being transparent on pay scales is a really important area. The policies need to be beneficial to women to ensure retention is there – giving them more opportunities to progress is vital in achieving this.

The training and feedback for managers is also important to ensure that everyone is managed as an individual. At Fusebox people are very approachable with a great support network.

What do you think is going to be the next fastest growing trend in gaming?

Possibly an increase in narrative games companies, which seems to be a growing trend. Lots of larger companies seem to be bolstering their offerings.

For the Boat Party we introduced an ethically sourced project which linked with a retail partner. Adding more brands to the game makes a lot of sense with the sort of audiences we have in the US which I am sure could be replicated globally.

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