thWomen now make up nearly 60% of players of games on mobile devices.  BOOYAH!

Now, I’m not advocating for more “Hello, Kitty” or (FSM forbid) PINK in mobility, but I AM pointing this out to say to the developers, “You cannot afford to continue to think that games, particularly mobile games, are for men.”  In fact, with social multi-player games, women are even a BIGGER percentage.  As a woman, I can give my opinion on why I think that’s an obvious, no-brainer conclusion: as a whole (and there are always exceptions), I have found that we are more cooperative, more social, than men.  So, duh!  Of COURSE we’re going to be a bigger consumer of social, and even casual, games.

And here’s pro tip number 2: you want to get your claws into the toddlers? Infants? Pre-teens? Teens?  Guess who you’re going to have to go through: Mom, not Dad.  So not only have women become the majority consumer of mobile games, but they have a huge influence over the rest of the family.  According to EEDAR, a California research firm that specializes in researching video games, women are more likely to play these games with family members and send (and I’d assume accept) those annoying Facebook game invitations.  (Remember I said there are exceptions?  Yeah, my husband is more likely to play on the Playstation 3 with our son. I tend not to be able to stay with console games for long. But then, I didn’t grow up with a console and my husband did.)

Now before you start feeling threatened, according to EEDAR men still are in the majority in PC and console gaming, but that lead has shrunk from 72% in 2002 to only 53% in 2012.

Even stranger still, according to the USA Today article, Big Fish Games (a game publisher on the PC, iOS, and Android platforms) says that their Big Fish Casino game, which you would think would lean male, actually gets 65% of their revenue from women. (Disclaimer: I have been a BFG member since 2009. I generally play hidden object games, although I have some time management style games too. And yes, I have bought games for my son as well.)

So you can’t assume anything about technology anymore.

Source: USA Today

5 COMMENTS

  1. Good stuff. The more i think about it my wife plays alot more games on her phone than I do on mine. I have a much bigger screen (4.7″ Titan vs 3.5″ iPhone 4) and yet somewhere along the line i’ve stopped playing games entirely. When I get a spare moment i’m usually checking my twitter feed or CNN app and reading articles.

    I just had to hard reset my phone and realized there wasn’t a single game I felt compelled to re-install.

    When we think about Words with Friends and other games people talk about being so important thats not hardcore gamers.

  2. Yeah, I agree that women tend more towards the “casual game” category, BUT I play a free-to-play MMO and there are a lot of (real) women, too.

    It also occurred to me that the under-25 or so crowd has grown up with computers and consoles, and is very very comfortable with technology, so it wouldn’t surprise me that that also plays a part in women playing PC and console games. And remember that MMOs have a very cooperative, social aspect to them: guilds, and having to band together to take down bosses. I really think that age and exposure as children MUST play a part in this. At my mother’s age (65), it’s probably still a rare thing. At my age (41), I would guess (and this is based on my own experiences only, so it’s probably INCREDIBLY subjective. My experiences tend towards people who are more educated and technologically savvy) that console games, things like Diablo (<3 <3 <3) are not rare, but still uncommon. I would not be surprised if the male:female ratio in the under-25 group is closer to that 53:47 percentage.

  3. At the risk of saying more about myself, I have to admit I’ve always said that I had “guy tastes” in lots of areas: I like to watch sports, I grew up with SciFi, I love technology, I prefer action movies and Can’t Stand “chick flicks”, so I probably skew that data a bit. But I also cross-stitch, I’m learning to knit, and in the last year I discovered OPI nail laquer.

    There could also be a generations-removed aspect of Women’s Liberation: being able to explore all likes and dislikes, and not having to be pigeonholed into what’s “proper.”

    There is never just 1 reason for something happening, but all of these things mentioned could have influence.

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