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Image via The MIX

The Media Indie Exchange is putting Black developers at the forefront with its Black Voices in Gaming Freshman Class, an initiative to highlight developers with games coming out through 2022.

Why it matters: The game industry grapples with diversity across the board, leaving developers who are not cis-gender white men isolated or even alienated from the broader community.

  • That makes it difficult for new voices to rise because they lack the same resources.
  • This is especially true for Black developers, who account for only 2% of the industry, according to a 2020 IGDA survey.

The MIX's Freshman Class initiative is a way to highlight Black creators and create a space for those developers to support each other. This year's class includes 14 games, including titles such as:

  • "Treachery in Beatdown City"
  • "She Dreams Elsewhere"
  • "Super Space Club"
  • "Kena"
  • "KindFolx"
  • "Nour"
  • "Protodroid Delta"

What they're saying: Neil Jones, creator of "Aerial_Knight's Never Yield," says building a community for Black developers specifically is important. Jones teamed up with The MIX co-founder Justin Woodward to help organize the effort and is included for his game.

  • "It's much like other communities, like you see women in games, they often reach out to each other because they have this deeper understanding and the same struggles that they face."
  • "My process that I've gone through with this whole game, it will be very different from, you know, a white woman from Nebraska."
  • "If they're not going to give me an opportunity, I'm just gonna make my own type of space where I can do whatever I want," he told Axios in a previous interview earlier this month.

Woodward also sees it as a growth opportunity and a way for Black developers to share their resources. "I think it's really important within our community that we're able to help each other grow," he said.

  • "A lot of times we're pitted against each other," he said. "This is something that says, hey, you know, we can all exist at the same time."

What's next: Although there are no concrete plans for the next class just yet, the goal is to create one yearly.

Go deeper

Valve bans NFTs, Blockchain games on digital distribution service

Photo illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

NFTs and games that use blockchain technology have been banned from Valve's digital distribution service, Steam, while Epic says it's open to including them on its platform.

Driving the news: As noted by a developer working on blockchain gaming title "Age of Rust," Steam began notifying creators it would be kicking all blockchain games from its platform.

Kate Marino, author of Markets
Oct 19, 2021 - Economy & Business

Housing slowdown threatens China's economic muscle

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

China Evergrande and a growing group of Chinese housing developers are inching toward defaulting on their debt.

Why it matters: While that's unlikely to cause a crisis of Lehman proportions, as Axios’ Felix Salmon has reported, just how much China's real estate sector cools could impact the nation's role as a growth driver for companies around the world.

"Assassin's Creed," but for schools

"Viking Age: Discovery Tour." Image via Ubisoft

For the third time since 2018, Ubisoft is releasing a nonviolent version of its latest “Assassin’s Creed” game as part of a unique effort to turn one of the medium’s most popular series into an educational tool.

Driving the news:Viking Age: Discovery Tour” transforms last year’s “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla” from a bloody 150-hour game about Viking conquest in 9th century England into a peaceful four-hour game about merchants and monks.