Female gamers on the rise, research says


The rise of the female gamer is one of the more encouraging developments in the gaming world over the past few years. Recognizing the relatively untapped market of the female gamer, developers have actively sought to court the other half of the populous.

Research by the U.S-based marketing firm IBISWorld suggests that the videogame industry’s efforts to expand the market (and, likewise, the breadth of their collective wallets) have paid off. From 2003 to 2008, the share of female gamers jumped five percent, from 33% to 38%. The increased female market in turn accounted for 21% of the industry’s growth in 2007 and from January to August of this year constituted 28% of revenue.

It should be noted, of course, that these numbers don’t account for all of these new gamers. The numbers, as it would have it, only account for women from the ages of 18-45, a distinction that leaves out the much younger female demographic. These particular gamers tend to be attracted to the more stereotypical “girl” games, titles featuring ponies and cheerleaders and various other predominantly-pink subjects. The increasing production of these types of games, to be sure, also makes up much of the industry’s growth.

One of the best things about these recent changes is that, for perhaps the first time ever, families and couples can enjoy video games together. For the industry, however, creating more gamers means more than just sharing a controller, it means creating titles compelling enough to make these new gamers go out and buy their own.