In recent years, the gaming industry has witnessed a significant rise in the number of female gamers, indicating a positive trend toward gender equality within the gaming community.
According to research conducted by Niko Partners, female gamers are growing at an impressive rate of 11% annually, surpassing the growth rate of new male gamers.
This surge in female gamers is not only transforming the gaming landscape but also driving colossal growth within the industry.
Female Gamers: A Growing Force in the Gaming Industry
According to Niko Partners, a market research and consulting firm, female gamers account for 37% of the total gamer population in Asia. This percentage is expected to grow even further in the coming years. Female gamers in Asia are predominantly playing on mobile devices, but there is a growing number of female Gen Z gamers playing competitive games and esports.
As of 2022, women comprised 48% of gamers in the United States, a notable increase from the previous year’s figure of 45%, with approximately 212 million gamers in the country. This demonstrates that nearly half of the gaming audience in the country is female.
Talking to Built By Girls, Jessica Murrey, CEO & Co-Founder of Wicked Saints Studios said:
“Even for women in gaming now I think we’re up to 50%. And in mobile games there’s actually more female gamers than there are male gamers. And you know, female gamers play more, they pay more, they play longer.”
While women continue to be underrepresented in the games media and industry, their presence as gamers is significant, and they hold considerable spending power within the gaming market. Although there may be variations in genre preferences among female gamers, overall, they are just as engaged and involved in gaming as their male counterparts.
This significant representation emphasizes the growing influence and presence of women in the gaming community.
The Impact of Female Gamers on the Market
Currently, the dominance of female gamers is particularly evident in the Asian gaming market, where mobile gaming is the primary platform of choice. However, there is still substantial potential for growth in PC and console gaming among female players.
Niko Partners reports 37% of Asian gamers are female:
1/ The number of female gamers is increasing by 11% each year. It’s two times faster than growth among male gamers pic.twitter.com/CLZwoVGkwH
— Eliza Crichton-Stuart (@ElizaCrichtonS) July 10, 2023
This presents an exciting opportunity for developers and publishers across all three platforms to tap into this burgeoning market segment and cater to the diverse preferences of female gamers.
Although female gamers currently contribute approximately 23.5% of the overall revenue in the Asian gaming market, there is still significant potential for expansion in the future. As the female gamer market moves closer to achieving gender parity with their male counterparts, the revenue generated by female gamers has the potential to double.
Echoing this, Murrey said:
“There’s a ton of money in games. About half of that revenue actually goes to mobile games. And in the mobile game industry, 55% of mobile game players are female.”
One factor that can fuel this growth is the active involvement of female gamers in esports. Women who engage in competitive gaming through activities such as live streaming, competing, or playing esports games have shown a greater inclination to spend both money and time on gaming content.
This highlights the impact that female participation in esports can have on driving revenue within the gaming industry.
Based on data from Esport Charts, female tournaments experienced significant growth in 2022. In total, these tournaments generated a staggering 23.76 million hours watched, which is 1.5 times more than the previous year. The viewership distribution across platforms showed that 49.2% of the total hours watched came from Twitch, while 44% came from YouTube.
In terms of prize pools, the total amount awarded in female tournaments for 2022 reached $1.7 million. This indicates the growing investment and recognition in competitive gaming for women. It also demonstrates the increasing interest and engagement surrounding women’s esports competitions.
The upward trajectory in viewership and prize pools for female tournaments signifies the expanding audience and support for women’s esports and gaming.
This positive trend fosters opportunities for female gamers to showcase their skills, compete at a professional level, and further contribute to the growth and development of the esports industry as a whole.
Promoting Diversity and Inclusion
While strides have been made towards greater gender equality in gaming, there are still significant challenges to overcome in terms of the representation of women in games. A majority of gamers, over 50%, express their dissatisfaction with how women are portrayed in games.
This underscores the importance of a more diverse and inclusive representation of female appearances in avatars and characters. By addressing this concern, the gaming industry can create a more inclusive environment that actively combats gender discrimination and fosters positive online interactions among gamers.
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