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October 20, 2020
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Press Releases
  COFFEE STAIN EXPANDS DIVERSITY FUNDING PROGRAM, LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD
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09/09/2020
 


[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource GamesPress.]

Skövde, September 9th, 2020 - Coffee Stain Studios, developer and publisher of ‘Goat Simulator’ and ‘Satisfactory’ is pleased to reveal its investment in Happy Broccoli Games, the third studio to come through the diversity funding program Levelling the Playing Field, aimed at smaller development teams and start-ups who employ at least as many women as men in their company. Coffee Stain are also pleased to announce the expansion of the program by broadening the Leveling the Playing Field criteria to include underrepresented races and ethnicities alongside women and non binary people. The expansion comes as a result of Coffee Stain becoming more diverse, and in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, which galvanised the team to begin enacting change.

 

Leveling the Playing Field launched in 2018 with the aim of tackling the gender imbalance in video games by offering funding of up to 1million SEK or over $100,000 for studios employing at least as many women as men. Since its conception Leveling the Playing Field has invested in three studios, Other Tales Interactive, Kavalri and now Happy Broccoli Games, a German studio developing Kraken Academy for PC and Switch, a slavic groundhog-day adventure inspired by 90s comedy anime, first brought to life in comics by the founder, Annika Maar, who developed the concept with her sister as children.

 

Creative industries have increasingly come under fire for their lack of diversity and according to the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), 71% of game developers globally are men while just 24% are women and 3% are non-binary. When it comes to race and ethnicity, just 2% of developers are Black while 69% identify as white. Levelling the Playing Field is looking to invest in studios who have created diverse teams be it 50% women or a team from a myriad of backgrounds and cultures, who value diversity and whose core ambition is to maintain a diverse workforce as they grow. Alongside funding Coffee Stain offers guidance as needed, ranging from UX/UI and story consulting through to playstesting. Over the last two years the Leveling the Playing Field team has quadrupled, expanding from a team of two to seven to continue growing the initiative. 

 

“Following the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others, along with the continued rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, we all felt that we should help in some way. When Levelling the Playing Field was founded, we decided to focus on gender imbalance because we felt we had enough understanding of the issue to address it. As women we understand what other women face and how to help them, we could draw from our own experience. Most of us aren’t people of colour, and we had, and still have, so much to learn in terms of how to help, but despite that we felt we should not wait any longer with broadening the initiative and giving other important voices a platform. We’re hoping this can be a start, and we’re excited to encourage even more diversity in the industry and its projects.” Said Hannah Beuger, World Designer and Writer, Coffee Stain Studios.

 

“"We are very excited to be part of the Levelling the Playing Field program. It's fantastic to be recognised for our values alongside the game we develop. Coffee Stain has been nothing but respectful and encouraging throughout the process, which we really appreciate.

With our games we hope to inspire developers that don't have the privilege of having connections to big investors or publishers to follow their dream of starting their own studio.

For the future we're looking forward to welcoming team members of all sorts of different backgrounds, to make our games even more interesting!” said Annika Maar, Founder and Game Developer for Happy Broccoli. 

 

“The Levelling the Playing Field criteria is simple- are you building a good game, are you looking to grow your team with diversity at the core of your workforce? If the answer is yes, we want to hear from you. Our ambition is to aid game development studios who are a positive force in the industry. There is quite notably a lack of diversity in creative industries, people should feel heard and better represented in video games. By being diverse within your organisation you’re also able to create more representative products which is vital for the games community as a whole. We’re hoping that by expanding the program we’re able to increase diversity at every level so studios recruit as fairly and widely as possible. The studios that we’ve selected so far have shown personal responsibility towards diversity and that should be recognised and championed,” said Nathalie Verweij, UI/UX Designer for Coffee Stain and Levelling the Playing Field Ambassador. 

 

Levelling the Playing is always open for submissions from studios globally. To find our more about the criteria and how to apply please visit: www.ltpfgroup.com

 

Application enquiries: [email protected]

 

About Coffee Stain: 

 

Coffee Stain is a game development studio, publisher and investor with offices in Skövde, Stockholm, and Gothenburg. Founded in 2010, Coffee Stain Studios is responsible for ridiculous global sensation Goat Simulator, the Sanctum Games, and the otherworldly factory builder Satisfactory, currently in Early Access. 

 

Coffee Stain Publishing was founded in 2017 to find talented developers and give them the tools and time to make their dream games. Since launch, the publishing arm has handpicked a select number of projects to partner with and in 2020 launched Deep Rock Galactic, which sold over a million copies in Early Access, and critically acclaimed retro action comedy arcade platformer Huntdown.

 

In 2018 Coffee Stain launched Leveling the Playing Field to support gender equality in the games industry, which offers funding to smaller and start-up development teams where at least half of employees are women. 

 

To find out more about partnerships and opportunities with Coffee Stain, visit:

 

Website: www.coffeestain.se/games/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Coffee_Stain

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CoffeeStainStudios/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/coffee_stain_studios/ 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/CoffeeStainStudios