Women behind Minecraft are building a better world through the power of play, block by block

Advice for Aspiring Game Developers

“I would say reach out to someone in the industry, so whether it’s an alumnus from your school or someone you’ve seen on a panel, just start a conversation, start building your network,” Duan says. “We all started somewhere. You can find so many people who are willing to share their story and support your journey in this industry.”

“Being part of studios that get the game into players’ hands very quickly, means you can feel that impact, what resonates and what doesn’t,” Chenn says. If I had Minecraft when I was 5 on my Game Boy, I know I would be a creator today.”

Walters, who came into Mojang after 13 years with Lucasfilm, urges early career women to “stick with it” in the competitive and demanding gaming and entertainment industries.

“You will definitely encounter obstacles and setbacks. If it’s something you’re passionate about, don’t ever give up, right? Find ways to overcome. Pivot when you need to, find ways to achieve your goals. That may mean learning new skills, seeking new opportunities or networking with others,” she says. “Be confident that we can do it, but also be collaborative, supportive, curious and adventurous. Be resilient and persistent.”

Building a Better World Through Gaming

“One of the core reasons I joined the company is because of our purpose, which is building a better world through the power of play,” says Duan, who brought experience from working at LucasArts and Leapfrog on game-based learning to Minecraft Education.

Her team is responsible for getting Minecraft games to players on an array of platforms across console, PC, and mobile.

“When I joined Mojang three years ago, it felt like a homecoming to be able work on an IP [intellectual property] that is as universal as Minecraft and to understand the impact that we could have on the world.”

For Walters, who leads efforts to deliver new experiences and expand outside of the core Minecraft game, that means extending the game’s ethos into entertainment. She’s just recently gone to work on a Minecraft film in progress.

Minecraft’s consumer products business alone has doubled in revenue over the past two years.