The International Game Developers Association is “not falling apart, though it may appear to be” according to Director Wendy Despain.
After just over a year on the job, Joshua Caulfield has resigned his post as executive director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), which has served as the industry’s professional association since 1994. IGDA board member Wendy Despain tells The Escapist that the departure is amicable and that Caulfield still feels that the IGDA is “headed in a great direction.” As they look for a replacement for Caulfield, Despain reports that the board of directors will also add three new full-time positions: an Internal Community Manager to help members, an External Community Manager to interact with sponsors and press, and an Operations Manager to handle other functions of the association.
These and other internal changes are a potentially divisive step in the evolution of the IGDA. Despain says the changes are seen as the necessary growing pains for an organization that needs to evolve in order to survive. “The ‘old’ IGDA served a smaller industry in a different time,” Despain said, and “some of the ‘old’ things have to fall away for real change and growth.” Caulfield’s resignation does not seem to have been prompted by the coming changes, but the board is “working overtime to hold things together through drastic transitions.” Other board members may already be contemplating their own exit. “Another person on the board of directors is making some moves that could mean another resignation soon,” said a source who prefers to remain anonymous, “because of the changes.”
Despain did not include board member Brenda Braithwaite, who resigned yesterday, in that category. “She’s actually helped move some of the positive changes along recently…I’m very sad to see her go.”
The IGDA board members are all involved in game development, which is no stranger to crises. “We’re used to working in that space,” said Despain. “We’re not afraid of it…but we know if we focus on the future and not pointing fingers we can navigate to an acceptable (maybe even successful) place.”
Despain is still hopeful that things are moving in the right direction. “The IGDA needs to grow up. Adolescence is ugly sometimes. Welcome to our teen years.”