By Michelle Curtis on August 25, 2014 at 5:54pm
In a recent study conducted by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), findings conclude that women represent a greater portion of the gaming population (36 percent) than teenage boys (17 percent).
This is incredibly important news in terms of the future of gaming. The target demographic for many game developers and publishers has consistently been teenage boys under the age of 18. While the male demographic still retains the largest percentage of gamers overall (52 percent), women who game make up 48 percent of the gaming population. When you consider the fact that between 2012 and 2013 the female gaming population over the age of 50 grew by 32 percent, it should be no surprise that women gamers are closing the gap at a steady pace.
Researchers are attributing the increase to the rise in social/casual gaming. Approximately 30 percent of games played are social/casual games with 44 percent of gamers playing on their smartphones. Social gaming as a genre grew by 55 percent from 2012 to 2013.
But that's not all. In terms of gender, there is an even split between male and female frequent game buyers, and of those who purchase game more often, the average buyer is around 35 years old. While it seems like this has “Go ask your mom” written all over it, female gaming is so much more than just mom gamers getting their hands on some free time or picking something up for the kiddies.
Gaming for many (if not, most) gamers is a lifetime hobby. As gamers age, they don't “grow out” of their joy of gaming. Adult gamers have been playing for an average of 16 years with women specifically gaming for an average of 13 years.
As these women continue to age (and acquire more disposable income), we could very well see women becoming the predominant gender in terms of who is playing/buying games. After all, a study conducted by Flurry Analytics found that women gamers are 42 percent more loyal in terms of retention.
So what does this mean for gaming as a whole? It means that there is a burgeoning market for companies to explore. It means that gaming is rapidly becoming more of an integral part of our culture. It means that gaming life is thriving and finding more ground despite current economic conditions. Oh yeah, and it means that girls DO play video games.
ESA Findings 2012-2013 PBS: Gaming Demographics Flurry Analytics Frag Dolls Gllty and her Gear PGL Girl Gamers Mom/Daughter Gaming