Sweet Baby Inc. is a narrative consulting firm that has worked with many major North American game studios. Its specialization? Diversity, equity, and inclusion.
According to the firm’s website, it is “an inclusion-focused narrative and consultation company . . . building a team and a process in hopes of building a kinder, more sustainable industry at every scale.”
What is particularly notable, however, is Sweet Baby Inc.’s client list. It includes some of the biggest names in the industry, such as Valve, which runs the largest digital distribution service for video games, and Xbox, one of the three main console manufacturers. Other comapnies that work with Sweet Baby Inc. include 2K, Electronic Arts, Rocksteady, Santa Monica Studio, Square Enix, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Games, and Wizards of the Coast.
Also listed online are some of the prominent games that the company has worked on. For Alan Wake II, Sweet Baby provided help with “Character Arc, Voice, and Sensitivity Reading.” For God of War: Ragnarok, the firm offered “Narrative and Character Consultation, with a focus on representation.” For Spider-Man 2, it was “[s]tory consultation.”
Digging into Sweet Baby Inc.
Sweet Baby Inc.’s stated approach is composed of four areas: writing, narrative, representation, and development.
Of representation, the firm says the following: “We believe that representation is key to connecting players and audience. . . We’re part of an inclusive and knowledgeable community of diverse consultants, able to cover a wide range of cultural and sensitivity topics. Our approach leads with the creation of joy in marginalized players, and seeks to be additive rather than strictly corrective.”
Also on the representation front, Sweet Baby Inc. offers services on “Cultural Consultation, Sensitivity And Inclusivity Reading, Risk and Opportunities Assessment.”
Regarding development, the firm promises that it “can assemble and lead an amazing team of new and marginalized voices who can bring [a project] all to life.”
Sweet Baby Inc. also offers outreach programs, specifically to support “[n]ew and marginalized talent.” Those programs have included mentorship programs, portfolio reviews, and workshops.
The advent of a company like Sweet Baby Inc. points to broader cultural conflicts surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Another recent example is Disney’s upcoming Snow White remake, whose lead star has come under controversy for disparaging the original 1937 version and suggesting that it be modernized.
Clashes such as these present the West with divergent cultural paths while suggesting important questions about its future.