The much-anticipated GDC took place in San Francisco on March 14-18

Elena Lobova talked about a current and problematic subject: how to fit in the big game development business (or how is it to be a woman in the male-dominant business).

The iLogos team attended the leading event in the gaming industry. Professionals from different parts of the world gathered at GDC to brag and talk about the launch of new games, to share business insights and to find like-minded people. iLogos is proud to have taken part in this amazing event.

Please watch the speech of Elena on GDC Vault (section Elena Lobova, time stamp 12:52)

Elena Lobova participated in the conference to represent not only the position of her company but also to share with the audience her personal story, how she became the CEO of the leading European game development company. Elena talked about the situation in the game development business in Ukraine along with the position of the gender problems and the acceptance of female success in Ukraine’s IT industry.


Today Ukraine has a difficult political and economic environment, and right now business people have to operate in the ever-changing but constantly growing IT market. Despite the political and economical environment Ukraine created a network of good technical schools, that is why a lot of bright minds are today in the IT area.

A significant number of game developers are women nowadays – this applies to the native country of Elena, too. Ukraine is now rapidly moving towards gender tolerance and 1/3 of students in computer science are women.

Also, Elena talked about how to run a company of 300+ and how tough it could be, not only because you’re a woman but because there are a lot of projects in the pipeline simultaneously.

Elena said, she’s not shy about shattering any stereotype in front of her. “It is difficult and it is challenging, but it is interesting. And it’s not my work, it’s who I am,” Elena said.

At the fourth annual #1ReasonToBe panel the developers from all over the world talked about similar problems distinguished only by the speaker’s perception of those problems. The goal of #1ReasonToBe is to focus on the panelists’ accomplishments and amazing experiences in an industry that can sometimes be hostile to people from different backgrounds.

While the past years this panel focused mainly on women and gender issues, this year it included the people with various background from non-Western countries. The essence of the distinctions which the speakers at GDC talked about is actually extremely similar, but the opportunities to cope with them are different.

The panel showcased the diversity of game developing world, which goes far beyond the Western world, but still, as the #1ReasonToBe moderator Rami Ismail said, where the industry is strongly focused in a few cultures and languages. This year the the panel featured Tsitsi Chiumya (SHAPA Studios, South Africa), Tasneem Salim (GCON expo, Saudi Arabia), Sithe Ncube (Ubongo Game Lab, Zambia), Elena Lobova (iLogos, Ukraine), Sun Park (Turtle Cream, South Korea), and Laia Bee (Pincer Games Studio, Uruguay).