More women than men play mobile games, underscoring how device-based social play is shifting demographics in the gaming industry.
According to a survey of 15,000 users by mobile social network MocoSpace, which calls itself the largest mobile gaming network, more than a quarter of women age 30 and over play mobile games for more than three hours a day, compared to just under 19 percent of men in the same age group.
The word “gamer” usually calls to mind a teenage boy hunched over a console controller in a dim basement. But, as mobile devices grow in popularity, so do the titles and types of games available to play on them, bringing gaming into the light of day and drawing in a new demographic of players.
A recent report by Flurry Analytics found console games still attract a predominantly male audience, but more women are playing mobile games. The rise in social gaming on smartphones likely contributes to this shift. Social networking sites like MocoSpace, which focus on connecting gamers for social play, are also attracting more female members.
Many popular mobile games such as “Words With Friends” encourage people to play against others via social networking sites. The social aspect of these games may continue to draw in more women and girls, especially as game developers take advantage of the trend and start creating more titles with female players in mind.
The video game industry is building on growth of social gaming, due in part to companies like Zynga, maker of popular Facebook games “FarmVille” and “CityVille.” As companies specializing in mobile games broaden the number of titles they offer, gaming will continue to draw a wider audience.
Console game makers will also make mobile inroads to drive future revenues. For example, Japanese video game giant Capcom expects one-third of its future profits to eventually come from social network-based games played on smartphones.
Capcom, known for creating the top-selling “Resident Evil” series, is now building a library of mobile games, such as “Smurfs’ Village,” which may hold more appeal for female players.
As the social gaming trend continues and mobile devices grow in number, speed and sophistication, mobile gaming will likely increase in popularity as well, especially as developers create new titles and types of games for an increasingly female audience.