Rahul Sachitanand
Jun 9, 2020

Game play by women surges during pandemic, action shifts from consoles to mobiles

TOP OF THE CHARTS: Google-Niko Partners report shows that the idea of gaming as a male-dominated market is antiquated, as women's game play and spending rise.

A young Asian woman professional gamer plays on a live stream
A young Asian woman professional gamer plays on a live stream

As game play has gone from console to PC and now to the mobile, women are making themselves heard. Not just by being more visible gamers, but also for marketers, becoming an influential source of consumption in an arena often seen as male-dominated. With the COVID-19 pandemic, this shift has only accelerated among homebound audiences, according to a new report title Play like a girl: Key ways to engage one of Asia’s fastest growing gaming audiences, from Google and Niko Partners.

The report touchs on multiple ways in which women are making themselves heard. For example, Onmyoji, Miracle Nikki, and Jianxiaqingyuan stand among a growing number of titles that have at least 50% female users. 

Here is more breaking news for marketers. Busting some long-held stereotypes about women gamers, when it comes to mobile games, "women love intense, hardcore titles that feature strategic gameplay and diverse character options —particularly massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs) and Anime, Comics, and Games (ACGs), as well as multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs) and shooter games," the report notes. 

As more women jump on this gaming bandwagon and even join professional esports teams, marketers and brands can use this opportunity to both widen and deepen their interest in this audience. This report notes that esports opens up a new set of opportunities, with growing participation likely to attract more women viewers on livestream videos, more female fans, and attract advertisers atypical to this market. 

This report notes that for marketers, mobile-first should be an essential part of their strategy. Consider the fact that not only are more female gamers getting online, but there are more than 2X as many female gamers on mobile than PC, and 50X more than on consoles.

For game developers and marketers to tap this audience they may need to rewrite some of the rules of the marketing game. They need to plan for a mobile-first environment, where this audience is most engaged, add storylines and characters women identify, work with esports teams and audience where female participation is rising and build more diverse teams to better understand the needs of this new audience.

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