5 video game studios founded by French women
Updated: Feb 24, 2021
The video game industry is to this day mainly dominated by men. However, despite the complexity of such an enterprise, some women managed to break the barriers, make their way into the industry and launch their studio! Discover below the profile of five video game studio founded or co-founded by women.
Audrey Leprince | The Game Bakers
Audrey Leprince started in the industry as a game designer and producer for 'Quantic Dream' and independent French studios. In 2010, she set up her studio called 'The Game Bakers' with Emeric Thoa. Their first game 'Squids' was an underwater tactical RPG on mobile that met great success. Their latest game, 'Haven' released in 2020 is a romantic RPG for consoles and PC.
Diane Landais, Elizabeth Maler, Miryam Houali | Accidental Queens
'Accidental Queens' is a French video game studio founded by three women from the gaming industry: Diane Landais, Elizabeth Maler and Miryam Houali. They sought to create games that feature new mechanics, exploring topics from everyday life and social questions to innovative narrative tools. They won the special prize from the French Video Game Arts and Techniques Academy for their latest game 'Alt-frequencies' an audio mystery set in a time loop.
Aline Bardou | Otterways
Otterways was established in Rennes (France) in 2018 by Aline Bardou and the development studio specialises in the use of open and free software. Otterways released 'Sweet Love' in 2020 - the first of a series of short games called 'Nuances', that focuses on feminist, or lgbtq+ thematics and fights for inclusiveness. This first game with a minimalist design stages rough situations such as toxic couple relationship, mental harassment and marital rape. Aline Bardou is also the leader of 'Ethical Games', an initiative promoting a more ethical and inclusive industry.
Jehanne Rousseau | Spider Games
Jehanne Rousseau is the C.E.O of the Spiders video game studio since 2008. She designs and writes every game produced by the company and in March 2020 she received the Pegasus Prize for Personality of the Year, awarded by the Academy of Video Game Arts and Techniques. In 2019, they released the fantasy RPG 'Greedfall,' which sold over one million copies worldwide.
To learn more about Jehanne Rousseau’s journey, have a look at the interview led by Nigel Twumasi, co-founder of GamePad, a social gaming event taking place in London, promoting fun and inclusion in gaming.
Anais Simonnet | Fireplace Games
Fireplace Games is an independent video game studio co-founded by character artist Anais Simonnet in 2020 and seven graduates from her video game school. In 2018, the founding members worked together on a story-driven action student game project titled 'En Garde', which won multiple student awards.
Below, an interview led by our partner Mayamada/Gamepad