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NPD: Female Gamer Population Increasing On Consoles
NPD: Female Gamer Population Increasing On Consoles
June 29, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander

June 29, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander

The NPD says the number of female gamers in the audience is up year over year -- "significantly" on consoles.

The percentage of console gamers who are female grew from 23 to 28 percent in 2009, according to the NPD's new market segment study. The rise is mainly attributable to the Wii, which itself saw a 19 percent increase in usage over last year.

But even in more core-market outliers, female presence is up, the study results assert. The audience defined as "heavy" users of portable systems saw its percentage of female constituents rise four percent.

The portion of the audience defined as "extreme" gamers -- those who play an average of 39 hours per week -- also saw its female population rise four percent.

"Last year was one of the most transformative in history in terms of defining the audience for gaming," says NPD analyst Anita Frazier.

"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."

38 percent of total gamer time was spent playing online games, finds the NPD -- flat compared to the previous year, suggesting that as the industry eagerly moves online, the audience may not be following at quite the same rate.

In fact, the NPD says that while 16 percent of game purchases in 2008's fourth quarter were downloaded digitally, the average number of gamers paying for microtransactions decreased over last year.

"This could be caused by the increased availability of free gaming, putting a downward price pressure on the industry," says Frazier.

The NPD's study is based on a survey of 20,000 members of its online consumer panel of people "ages two to 65+" who say they personally play video games -- responses for two-year-olds, it says, were captured by asking parents to help their kids use the computer in order to answer the questions.

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jayvee inamac
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coz mainstream video games still suffers from the traditional cliches of hypersexualized portrayal of females, and over machismo.

Tommy Hanusa
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also the analysis that the the number of people interested in online games is constant is very relative.

Everyone who wants to play an mmo is playing WOW. Nobody is going to win a battle against WOW for making a huge MMO with tons of people playing. Stop trying to beat WOW, try to do something else with an MMO and bring in a different type of crowd. WOW won and every other fantasy MMO lost. If you must make a fantasy MMO; plan to have a differnt financial model than WOW, and don't copy them.

I'm not an industry analyist or anything; but anyone will tell you the maket is getting flooded with games trying to be the next WOW. It really doesn't matter how good they are or innovative they are; they are playing copy-cat and they can't win by playing by WOW rules.

the numbers are showing that the industry is growing and its growing in more of a mainstream manner, but as women and 'new gamers' enter, some are making the transition to 'hardcore' gamers thus extending the hard-core market.

John Petersen
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There's alot of bad azz free games out. I see alot of females in them.

As far as demographics go; That's great!

Mario N
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Are you serious? Knowing your market is one of the first things you learn in any business school.

Alex Covic
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Every study that indicates an increase of female gamers on consoles is huge news. The majority of female gamers so far were playing web-games, hand-held console/phone-games. On PC, the vast majority plays The Sims and or WoW.

If they make the 'jump' to the 'big consoles', then somebody is doing the right thing. The video game market opens up to more family friendly audiences and we all know who made that possible.

Next step: more female developers and producers in the industry. Lots more, than there are now. White nerdy males making games for other white nerdy kids was the past. Maybe I will get to see the day in my lifetime, when 'hard core' becomes the laughable immature dirty word that it should have been in the first place.

(twitter @buckybit)