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Bursting the male gamer bubble
October 4, 2021
When you hear the term ‘gamer’ your first thought may be of a teenage boy (or any male for that matter) sitting on a sofa, surrounded by pizza boxes, hiding away from nature – possibly even daylight.
I wouldn’t blame you if that's where your mind first travels to, as this representation of the gamer has been regurgitated so many times in the media that this male-centric vision has become the socially accepted - or assumed - archetype for all gamers.
But when you look at the statistics that say there are 729 million console players, 1.3 billion PC players and 2.6 billion mobile gamers worldwide, how could it be possible that this broad group of gamers have no more nuance than this?
A female-driven gaming audience?
In reality, the nuance is much greater. Despite misconceptions, the gaming audience is far more female-driven than is often presented.
In fact, a study by Newzoo and Facebook revealed that during 2020 the number of female gamers increased, with women making up 47% of all gamers and 48% of mobile gamers. This, coupled with the fact that there were 2.7 billion gamers overall in the same year, means that over 1 billion gamers in 2020 were women.
You may be thinking that this phenomenal number of female gamers is very reasonable; if women make up around 50% of the world's population, why wouldn’t they make up around 50% of gamers? But have you given any thought to who these women are and how they operate and influence as consumers? The fact is, across those 1 billion female gamers there is a great deal of demographic diversity.
Age is just a number
Before looking at what all this means, we need to consider the other stereotype that all gamers are young. Many believe that tweens, teens and twenty-year-olds reign king over gaming. However, Facebook Gaming states that over a third of all mobile gamers are over the age of 45. That’s over a third of the 2.6 billion mobile gamers mentioned earlier. The truth is, then, gamers are a range of different ages. And they’re from different locations. And have different interests, financial situations and professions. In fact, almost any demographic category you can think of will show just how nuanced gamers really are.
The purchasing power of the ‘gamer mum’
Let's consider just one of the many female gaming demographics to better understand why these too often ignored audiences can offer brands tremendous value.
Did you know that most mums are gamers?
A whopping 71% of mums play video games, and over 90% of these ‘gamer mums’ play mobile games daily. The importance of this fact lies in the social habits and social status of ‘gamer mums’.
Activision Blizzard’s 2020 report found that ‘gamer mums’ are incredibly engaged and influential consumers who wield power over the purchasing habits of their family and friends. Effectively, the ‘gamer mum’ is the master key - reaching them will mean your brand's reach will extend far further than just those who had the pleasure of viewing your ad.
Not only are ‘gamer mums’ themselves major paying consumers who readily pay for content such as subscription services and revel in the opportunity to share and spread the word about their latest faves on social media (with 76% using social media daily, 57% paying for streaming services and 61% streaming videos on a weekly basis), but they are also instrumental figures in the purchasing habits of their friends as 48% credit themselves as a source of purchasing advice for their peers.
So what does this all mean?
First, the gaming audience is diverse and primed for a variety of brands. If you had any doubt about the value of the gamer audience for your brand or product, rest assured that the gamer in its many forms presents valuable consumers for all kinds of brands.
Second, gamers are everyone - your mum and nan included - and recognising the power of this diverse audience by bursting the male gaming bubble perception will surely unlock untapped potential for any advertiser.
Reaching untapped audiences
In the advertising industry, we’ve been discussing diversity for a while, and gaming is an industry with untapped potential. It demonstrates that games can be a place for a very wide range of brands. Even if you feel like there isn’t an obvious fit with gaming, it may be time to think again.
Because whether you’re offering luxury items, cars, fast-moving consumer goods, musical acts, or anything else, you can be sure a great percentage of your target audience is playing games.