The demographics for gaming have changed. Games are now enjoyed by more than just teenage boys. 34% of UK gamers are over the age of 35 and do you know who makes up over half of all gamers? Women and girls. Female gamers make up 52% of the total gamers in the UK. However, what is interesting is that they are not playing the same genres as male gamers, at least in terms of numbers. Here are the genres that women are playing the most.
Gaming is something that has had a traditionally male focus, both in terms of content and who the games are aimed at. So many mainstream games have gruff, burly men as their protagonists. While we are beginning to get more mainstream games featuring female protagonists, such as Star Wars Battlefront II and Battlefield V, the majority of games still have men in the central roles. An analysis of E3 2018 found that 24% of the games only let you play as a male protagonist while only 8% had you only playing as a female protagonist. The rest was made up of games which let you play as both (50%), games in which gender did not apply (13%) and games with gender-ambiguous protagonists (5%).
The number of male-only protagonists in games is certainly something to think about in relation to female gamers. In a study carried out by game analytics company Quantic Foundry, 270,000 gamers were quizzed about their favourite games and the results were interesting.
Match 3 games
69% of the gamers that play match 3 games are female; a staggering statistic in the games market. The games are played by lining up objects (blocks) of the same type. The blocks can be anything from candy (Candy Crush Saga) and jewels (Bejewelled) to shells (Fishdom). They are games that are primarily available as apps for smartphone or Facebook.
Farm/family simulator games
Again, the study found that 69% of farm/family simulator games are female favourites. Think of Farmville for an example of the genre. They are free-to-play and you can spend money in-game on more content and upgrades. Again, these are games which, to play, do not require a specific console or a powerful computer.
After those two examples, there is a drop in the percentage of female gamers. 42% of gamers who play casual puzzle games are women. Casual/puzzle games include titles such as Angry Birds but can also include casino games. Casino games available to play on Stakers include poker, roulette, and blackjack. The site also has a range of slots that are very entertaining. Such sites are very popular with women, many of whom love to play online bingo.
41% of atmospheric exploration games are played by women. If you haven’t heard of this genre, don’t worry, it’s quite a newcomer. The games basically involve exploring the level being played and finding items, all while enjoying the atmosphere. These are usually low threat or no threat whatsoever games. Examples include Firewatch, Life is Strange, Gone Home and Night in the Woods.