By Xiling Gu
It’s no news that women founders and executives are proving themselves in all walks of life and adding value from their unique perspectives. Yet there are some sectors which won’t particularly be considered a woman’s territory– such as the gaming industry. But this landscape is changing. Kate Gorman, a veteran in the mobile gaming industry, is creating a portfolio of socially infused games. She is the founder, CEO and president of Fort Mason Games, a modern mobile gaming company where 70% of the employees are women. “The games are for everyone but crafted particularly with women in mind.”
September the 10th marked the launch of her mobile app Confetti Casino, a Vegas-style slots game. Gorman talked about her dazzling career in the leading social game company Zynga, and about her own startup’s ambition to grab a slice of the 70 billion mobile game industry. She skyrocketed onto the scene before even graduating from college. She took her first full time job at Zynga, where she experienced her first IPO, drove growth for multiple game launches of over 10 Million DAUs. At 25, she became the youngest Director of Product at Zynga and the highest-ranking woman in Product. She took the slots genre from $0 to $145MM+ in revenue before founding Fort Mason Games at age 26. Being a rare female presence in the gaming industry provided her with an edge to perceive the products and players from a novel angle. “I’ve always seen my combination of technical skills, people skills, my ability to empathize with players (especially female ones) and passion for gaming as a combination that gives me a unique perspective. Being female is just one piece of this puzzle.”
This September she launched her first product, Confetti Casino, which is designed as a party environment slot machine game to play with friends and make new connections. Unlike most existing slots games, Confetti Casino is not over-sexualized. Instead the players develop a sense of community and the creation of environment where they want to hang out and relax virtually. They also get to retain the gaming network not only on one game, but across all the games from Fort Mason Games: “This means you’ll always be able to stay connected with your friends and you can help each other find new games to play. All the while progressing in your current game as well.”
To better understand the underserved market of female players,. That’s about the same percentage of American women ages from 10 to 65 who play mobile games. The significant number fuels Gorman’s confidence to build her company into a multi-billion-dollar business and become the No. 1 casual mobile gaming company.
When asked what advice she would give to women committed to achieving something people in a “man’s domain” she said: “Exude confidence and understand that your difference in perspective can be your strength. As a woman in a male-dominated industry, you can add value through your diversity in ways that few others can.’’
Fort Mason Games believes in “ME TIME: We think everyone deserves “me time” to relax and de-stress and escape into the theme of a game.”