Game development

IGDA Executive Director Renee Gittins resigns

Gittins spent two years leading the organization’s mission to “support and empower game developers”.

Renee Gittins, executive director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), has announced that she will step down in early February. Gittins led the organization for two years, but will transition to a new role as Managing Director at Intrepid developer Phoenix Labs. She will remain a member of the IGDA Board of Directors.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as Executive Director of IGDA and certainly look forward to continuing to help the organization thrive when I return to the Board,” Gittins told GameDaily. “Over the past three years, I have seen the wonderful volunteers, staff and members of IGDA overcome many obstacles and difficulties. Our collaboration has empowered developers, improved diversity, and advanced the culture of our industry. »

Dr. Jakin Vela, the current Head of Global Development at IGDA, will serve as Acting Executive Director. Vela has a doctorate in sociology with a focus on the games industry, which Gittins says will greatly help the IGDA further its mission.

“My own skills are focused on operations, product, and project management, but that’s just one aspect of IGDA that’s needed to hold game developers accountable with our efforts,” Gittins explained. “I believe it is time for new leaders to make even greater improvements to our organization with their own experiences and skills.”

As part of the management change, Rami Ismail, indie developer and one of the organizers of the conference, will join the IGDA Board of Directors.

Gittins has published a number of white papers for the IGDA, including the Guide for game companies: how to create and maintain a positive work culture.

Looking forward to his new position at Phoenix Labs, Gittins expressed his excitement and optimism.

“I am thrilled to bring the knowledge and values ​​I have gained through my work with IGDA to their talented team,” she said. “I was truly impressed by Phoenix’s deep belief that people are the end, not the means in game development – a value that resonates strongly with me. It is a true honor to be tasked with raising such a passionate and compassionate team as I return to building our industry.

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Sam, the editor of, is a former freelance gaming journalist. It has been seen on IGN, PCGamesN, PCGamer, Unwinnable and many more. When he’s not writing about games, he’s most likely taking care of his two dogs or claiming to know a lot about craft coffee. Contact Sam by emailing him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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