AUTHOR: JAKE SCHOFIELD
Social Media Coordinator
The Untapped Potential of Female Gamers
Female gamers are a massively overlooked portion of gaming consumers. Many foolishly assume that gaming is a male-dominated industry, however 47% of women are gamers and 42% of women who use the internet watch video games content.
It’s time to bury the dated assumption that gaming is a male activity, so we’ve conducted a deep dive detailing how girls are a highly valued aspect of the gaming world and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.
Female gamers are on the rise
There are 1 billion female gamers worldwide and almost half of gamers in general are female. Taking these stats into account, it seems criminal that the female consumer base in gaming has been overlooked for so long.
If you thought that females involved in gaming are players only, you’d be very wrong indeed. Girls have been flocking to all corners of the gaming space – esports viewers, esports players, streamers and streaming audiences have all recently surged in female categories.
Girls are tapped into all sections the gaming world but are often ignored by brands seeking to infiltrate the gaming space. It’s about time more took notice.
A prominent role in the esports community
Esports is a realm which has been embraced by many females and they come out in their droves to support their favourite esports teams, making up 30% of esports fans.
Prejudice is an aspect of esports that organisers are actively seeking to eradicate. “Everybody wants esports to be legitimised and respected, moving away from the general stereotypes,” says Sam Mathews, chairman and CEO of London-based esports organisation Fnatic.
Despite well-documented issues with discrimination in the industry 81% of female gamers say attending esports events was a positive experience.
As gaming is clearly a hobby which attracts a diverse consumer base, we hope that increased recognition and prominence of female industry figures and audience members will discourage prejudice towards women in esports.
Esports holds huge potential for achieving greater equality than traditional sports, as esports is unique in the sense that it is just about only sport in which males and females can compete side by side.
“You can have a mixed-gender [esports] team, and that’s the only professional sport in the world where that can be done,” Joe Marsh, CEO of T1 Entertainment and Sports.
Impressive to say the least.
“Esports holds huge potential for achieving greater equality than traditional sports, as esports is unique in the sense that it is just about only sport in which males and females can compete side by side.”
We’ve already bemoaned the fact that brands don’t take notice of the female gaming audience, and the stats back this up. 62% of female esports fans feel that brands don’t market to them, so there is clearly untapped opportunity to engage the female gaming community.
Some have already successfully utilised this market, however, including Bumble, who sponsor Gen-G’s all female esports team.
Also, as part of the Louis Vuitton and League of Legends 2019 partnership, creative director Nicolas Ghesquière created in-game prestige skins for female characters and designed a real capsule collection that sold out almost immediately due to its popularity among female players.
It is a mystery why more brands haven’t launched more campaigns to tap into this huge female audience, but with an ever-increasing awareness of the possibilities of in-game advertising, we’re sure that this will be an exciting space in the near future.
Differing gaming habits
One reason why brands have been slow to recognise the value of the female gamer consumer base is that they often represent an entirely different type of enthusiast. Women tend to lean towards playing games on the go: Newzoo found that a third female gamers treat gaming as a time filling activity, explaining why mobile games are more popular with female markets.
“More and more female gamers are drawn to the fun, flexibility and freedom that mobile gaming affords,” said Matt Brocklehurst, Head of Platform Marketing at Google.
Women overwhelmingly prefer single player games (86%), explaining their attraction to mobile gaming. However, it’s worth noting that this does not mean that women are absent from popular multiplayer titles – 35% of Call of Duty and Fortnite players are female.
Brands must note such differences in female gamer habits when effectively engaging female gamers.
Female representation in the gaming industry has long been a hot topic. Gaming titles have often come under fire for not including female characters, and including females riddled with dated gender stereotypes when they do.
Representation is undoubtedly an issue that needs addressing, as only 5% of video games showcasing female characters. However, Feminist Frequency found that in 2020 18% of games featured female characters. There is evidently plenty of work to be done, but the industry seems to have noted the criticism and is certainly now heading in the right direction.