In the dynamic world of gaming, a notable shift is taking place—a surge in the number of female gamers. Far from the traditional image of a predominantly male community, the gaming landscape is evolving, welcoming everyone.
The numbers don’t lie—female gamers have been rising steadily for some time but we’ve observed a step change. According to Forbes, in 2020, women accounted for nearly 41% of all gamers in the US. Meanwhile, in Asia where 48% of the world’s total gaming revenue takes place, women now make up 40-45% of its gaming population, according to Google and Niko Partners. The year-over-year (YOY) growth rate for female gamers in Asia (14.8%) almost doubled the growth rate of total gamers (7.8%) in recent years. From competitive esports to the indie gaming scene, female gamers are achieving milestones and reshaping the narrative of gaming.
The rise of mobile gaming has played a pivotal role in the increasing number of female gamers. According to Statista, 55% of mobile gamers in the US are female; the barrier to entry in gaming has never been lower now that almost everyone uses a smartphone daily. In Asia, 95% of female gamers play on mobile, while only 40% play on PC, and 2% play on console. The convenience and accessibility of mobile gaming provide a gateway for entering the gaming sphere and the ease of social and interactive elements with mobile gaming contribute to an inclusive environment, fostering a peaceful sense of community among players.
Another significant factor contributing to the surge in female gamers is the industry’s shift towards storytelling, inclusive narratives, and creativity. Games are no longer so focused on violence and intense competition, which males are traditionally socialized to idolize. Instead, many have embraced compelling narratives that appeal to a broader audience and mechanics that focus on cooperation and constructive endeavors. This shift seems to be reducing some of the barriers traditionally associated with gaming, making it more welcoming to new and different profiles of gamers.
As the influx of female gamers continues to shape the market, developers are proactively seeking innovative ways to captivate a more diverse audience. One notable shift is the introduction of more varied and inclusive in-game characters. Game creators recognize the importance of representation, ensuring that players from all backgrounds can identify with and immerse themselves in the virtual worlds they explore.
A particularly fascinating trend has emerged in Asia with the rise of Otome Games. This genre, which went viral, uniquely blends socializing, anime aesthetics, romance, and puzzle-solving elements. Otome Games cater to a spectrum of preferences often associated with female gamers. However, a compelling question arises: Are these features universally preferred by female gamers, or do they merely reinforce stereotypes?
In our next blog post, we’ll delve into the complex landscape of gaming preferences to explore existing assumptions about gender when it comes to gaming: Do female gamers really behave all that differently to male gamers? How different are their motivations, needs and behaviors?