Women tend to use their mobile phones to game more than consoles and are not nearly as militant as men about their gamer status, but they are increasingly a group that brands in the gaming space cannot afford to ignore.
Why it matters
While the stereotype of the teenage boy gamer is fast receding, many women who play games do so outside of a broader “gamer” culture, as they are more likely to value their own experience and enjoyment when making gaming purchase decisions than men, a new report from retail innovation agency Outform working with GWI reveals.
Outform’s Play To Win Report 2021 finds that 83% of the women surveyed - in a total sample of 1,047 gamers from the UK, USA and France through GWI’s Recontact Panel– use a mobile device compared to 68% of men. Games native to mobile, such as Candy Crush (41% of women report it is their favourite game), are more popular among women than console-first titles.
75% of women surveyed use a console, though the observation here is that women are less tied to console gaming as a group.
Just 28% of women describe themselves as hardcore gamers versus 72% of men. Just under a third of men carry out gaming-related purchases purely for fun.
By comparison, women tend to be slightly more research-led. women are 15% more likely to try before they buy in-store. They also find in-store displays 30% more practical than men do, and use this tactile, first-person experience to inform purchase decisions, the research finds. However, 74% of women do extensive online research.
Women gamers report greater loyalty to brands, with 61% - compared to 55% of men - claim they are loyal to the gaming brands they believe in.
“Women are investing time to explore the paraphernalia that will give them an optimal gaming experience and are more flexible in the way they play, be it wired up to a TV or on-the-go on small screens, the latter of which benefit from a low barrier to entry. Gaming is no longer a boys’ club - it’s truly a cross-gender, multigenerational activity where everyone is welcome” - Simon Hathaway, MD EMEA at Outform.