Gamer Girls Give Consoles a Go

Ladies, grab your Wiimote!

Gamer Girls Give Consoles a Go - eMarketer

eMarketer projects $443 million will go toward in-game advertising spending this year in the US. But marketers should take note that women make up a substantial portion of the audience for that advertising.

Video gaming has grown increasingly popular among older players, other demographic groups and particularly women. This fact is a wake-up call for video game developers, as they are now focusing more on casual gaming.  The leader in this trend is the Nintendo Wii and this strategy has paid off as  in a study of U.S. Next-Generation Video Game Console Usage, for the Nintendo Wii, the % of total minutes used by female gamers is higher than that of its male counterparts in the 25 – 34, 35 -44, 45 – 54, and 55+ age ranges.

Women Playing More Games - eMarketer

According to eMarketer, in addition, 29% of total PC game players were women ages 25 to 54, the largest percentage of any group. Women ages 55 and up were 17% of the market, the third-largest behind men 25 to 54. Older women spent the second-highest number of minutes playing.

“Even with the increased competition from mobile and social network gaming, the console gamer segment added the most new participants to its ranks in the last year,” said Anita Frazier of The NPD Group.  Many of those new participants are women.

Although consoles such as the Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 have Internet playing capability, most game play (62%) is still offline.

Think the highly advertised World of Warcraft is the highest played PC game in the U.S.? Think again. Solitaire (yes, you heard right: Solitaire) is the highest played PC game in the U.S. with 7,750,623 unique players in December 2008, dwarfing the 1,104,334 unique players of World of Warcraft in the U.S. in the same month. In PC gaming, the games that come prepackaged with many PCs (Solitaire, FreeCell, Hearts, Minesweeper and Pinball) are the ones with the most players.

What implications has this on marketers?

Do your homework!

Learn from Nintendo and become aware of casual gaming and the increase of female video players.  2 good places to start are:

  1. Meet the Digital Mom
  2. Digital Mom: A two-part report from Razorfish and CafeMom

Author: Damian Davila

Ideas and concepts from Damian Davila, Ecuatoriano thriving in Hawaii. Pro marketer and blogger. Find him at @idaconcpts on Twitter.

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