[Product Roadmap] How Gamestacy is helping make games gender, race inclusive

In this week’s Product Roadmap, we feature Gamestacy, a game developer studio that is working towards enhancing gaming experience for all users, regardless of gender, race, or class.

When avid gamer Danish Sinha launched Gamestacy in 2016, it was a way to fulfill his childhood dream.

“I would play games for eight to 10 hours in a day, and I knew that it was a space I needed to set up in,” Danish tells YourStory

In its early days, Bengaluru-based Gamestacy was a part of few accelerators, where Danish was asked to focus his business around a particular problem. Digging deep, he felt that new age gamers couldn’t find inclusive games. 

“A lot of games have sexualisation of characters that put women gamers off or they face explicit harassment online. And this extends to racism for Asian, Hispanic and other gamers across borders. While there were companies looking to solve the problem, there was little really being done,” Danish explains. 

What does the platform do?

According to Danish, online harassment is an issue for all minority communities. The idea behind Gamestacy was how to solve these issues of social communication inside the game. 

A major factor driving bullying in gaming circles is lack of content moderation, he says. 

“While some companies have barring mechanisms for people who post abusive language or content, they partnered built something called the web purifier, where we have partnered with two companies to see that all the Indian content is moderated. We also share pre-moderated video texts and content on the platform,” Danish says. 

Although one can customise photos and scenarios inside a game, nothing can be taken outside, edited, and put back into the game, he says. 

Next on the agenda for the Gamestacy team is, diversity

For example, an Asian or an African American woman gamer wouldn’t want her character to be a white male figure.

“We have built characters that look like you, feel like you, of different demographics and geographies,” says Danish. 

Different characters and themes

He adds that gamers can customise characters and can have user generated custom storyline based on their character and their playstyle. The game storyline is not necessarily similar, it is based on what the gamer wants. 

Sanjay Kumar, ex-CEO of Altran and Elior India, and an investor in Gamestacy, says, “We use AI to filter out conversations and characters. The idea is not to build on top of existing platforms because that limits our ability to incorporate versatility and that's why we decided let's get into a metaverse gaming environment where individuals can build a game.”

The idea of GameStacy is to help and influence gamers solely on their skills and abilities. Besides its original work, Gamestacy has started collaborating with other companies and businesses regarding computer simulation, website design, and similar development projects. 

“One such great upcoming collaboration with Beamable is a great milestone for us. We are dedicated to a mission to deliver female-friendly games. For the last three years, we have brought three mid-core game titles to the mobile market – Turny Road, Nuclear Reaction, and Instagame. With our upcoming game ‘Influenzer’, we are initiating a change in the current gaming scenario, which currently has the bare minimum to offer female gamers,” adds Danish. 

He says another gaming company working towards this is Raji, which has built a storyline of a young sister saving her brother and not the other way round. 

Sanjay says the games built on Gamestacy are shareable.  

“Even the best gaming platforms in the world require one to make investments in order to be able to share. So you need a laptop and you need to have a certain configuration in order so that your gaming platform could be shared in some of the world's largest gaming platforms. What we're doing is dismantling that barrier and going to allow participants in this metaverse environment come on to our platform to share the games and build it with the devices they have without having to make those investments,” he adds. 

The next steps

According to Danish, gamers can build a game on top of a game. It works as a game sandbox where someone can build custom level games. People can play games for one another. The user can create different items and levels. 

“So now, I can make a different kind of dress altogether in a game based on what I like and I can also allow other people who are, who like the same kind of dresses, or weapons. There are multiple items like that,” adds Danish. 

Gamestacy follows a revenue sharing model with the game creator. On Gamestacy, 67.3 percent of the game developers are women, 28.7 percent male, and the remaining are non-binary. It is available on Google Play Store and Apple Closed Beta (Will be available later on Apple as full release) 30,000 Beta users+ and 1,000 Non-Beta Users. 

Gamestacy has recently won selection in Google Games and Newchip accelerator. The startup will receive mentorship and support from the network and other industry experts. 

“We want to build millions of users that can play a game and people find a safe space to play and share a game,” says Danish. He adds they want people share their gaming moments with one another.

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Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti