28% of all console gamers now female - Study

Industry-tracking NPD Group reveals women flocking to Wii, hardcore gaming on decline, online gaming stagnate.

According to a Nielsen Company study last April, almost 50 percent of all PC gamers are female, with hit PC titles like The Sims played primarily by women. The latest Sims iteration, The Sims 3, sold more than 1.4 million copies a week after its release, presumably bolstered by that aforementioned demographic. However, a new study by the NPD Group shows that female gamers branch well beyond the PC platform and now constitute more than a quarter of all console video gamers.

Does holding a Wii peripheral cause an irrepressible urge to strike a pose?

In NPD's Gamer Augmentation 2009 report released today, the industry-tracking group revealed new figures that show 28 percent of all console video gamers are female in 2009, up from 23 percent last year. NPD attributed the five-point rise to the Nintendo Wii, which it believes has attracted a large number of new female gamers. It reports that Wii usage has increased by 19 percent from 2008 for all demographics.

At the 2007 Women in Games Conference, Electronic Arts VP Sharon Knight said that the Wii is attractive to female gamers because of the console's accessibility.

"The Wii levels the playing field," she said. "You don't embarrass yourself--you can grab it and right away start having fun. ... [Wii games] don't require the same investment to learn and to master how to pick up and play [as other consoles' games]."

The NPD study also contained a few other figures on other gamer demographics. It found that "extreme gamers" played an average of 39 hours per week, down from about 46 hours last year. Even though the NPD Group found that extreme gamers have the lowest average household income out of all gamer demographics, they dole out the most cash to buy games. Extreme gamers purchased an average of 24 titles in the 2008 holiday quarter. However, the study reported that the demographic only makes up 4 percent of all gamers.

The amount of time gamers spend playing online has remained the same relative to last year, despite what the NPD calls a "focus of industry on more online gameplay opportunities." On average, 38 percent of a gamer's playtime was spent playing online.

The Gamer Augmentation 2009 study was conducted in January 2009 with more than 20,000 participants ages 2-65 and above and includes data from the 2008 holiday season. Survey data was weighted to portray gaming trends only within the US.

Written By

Want the latest news about The Sims 3?

The Sims 3

The Sims 3

Discussion

519 comments
mackey12345
mackey12345

Does anyone really care that woman play games now? It's good, diversity is a hell of a way to go about life. I don't see a point in this whole study... Less most of these woman turn out to be pirates.

zzamaro
zzamaro

wow, i'd like to marry a gamer girl :)

eldoucho
eldoucho

I would like to know how they do these studies... do they know how many males pretend to be female? It's saddening. :( Also, @razorfett Spoken like a true gamer. None of this fanboyism retardation, great games are where it's at. Gotta love the 360, PS3, and Wii! I, personally, would buy the 360 first though because I like most games on that console (I still can't believe I don't have a next gen console yet and it's 2009, so sad).

darklight4
darklight4

razorfett147 Point taken i retract my earlier comment i guess the Wii is a good start point for people new to gaming its easier to pick up and play and like you said if its worth playing go for it oh one more thing get yourself a PS3 theres soe stuff your missing out on MGS4 Killzone2 and more

razorfett147
razorfett147

It's all good. I just don't agree with labeling a whole console as a blight on the face of the gaming scene. It's about the games....not the console. Always has, always will be. Ask Sony why the PS2 was such a runaway success......it sure as hell wasn't because it was technically superior to anything else on the market. I still play (and enjoy) my Xbox360, Wii, and PS2. I hope to add a PS3 to that list once money is available. Wherever there are good games to be played.....I'll be there. And I don't care what console it's on, because they've all got games worth buying that console for.

darklight4
darklight4

@razorfett147 first of all i have 17 years of gaming experience played thousands of games had so many consoles ive lost count. the hardcore gamer still exists and im proud to be one but i agree gaming is a hobby i do enjoy playing games that make me want to play them even when the console is off. so if i was too hard on your preciuos Wii i apologize just dont ever question my knowledge or experience of gaming i wouldnt do it to you but there are still subcultures in gaming hardcore,casual or part time gamer doesnt matter as long as people enjoy games the way they want i dont really care

MoonlightVamp99
MoonlightVamp99

@ImBurning No, I did complete the article. Whether the number of people who participated were 300, 20,000 or 200,000 these kind of surveys still hold little weight. The fact the study omits any mention of the larger consoles, such as PS3 or Xbox 360 has the statistics lose credibility. "Most" play Wii or Sims. How many of those 20,000 people surveyed is "most"? How many of those 20,000 played any of the other consoles? Actually, how many of these people actually play games? Unless people who consider themselves gamers applied to complete this study, then it was probably just a guy walking along the street, asking 20,000 some questions. If that was the case, half of them probably don't even play! For a study that claims in its title "28% of all console gamers now female" the fact neither of the two biggest consoles get a mention is a grievous oversight. For a study that is supposedly about consoles, a lot of time is spent discussing only the PC and Wii.

tajirinere
tajirinere

what do we take away from this article? "So..."

Trogeton
Trogeton

WOW.. that's it.. my sister is one.. I thought it was about 40%

razorfett147
razorfett147

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

ImBurning
ImBurning

@ MoonlightVamp I would agree with you about a survey with 300 people holding little weight, but you obviously didn't finish the article. The study consisted of "20,000 participants ages 2-65," which I think is more than enough to reasonably apply to demographics. Also, it says nothing about female gamers only playing sims and wii, just that most do.

MoonlightVamp99
MoonlightVamp99

These surveys hold little weight when one considers how the numbers are calculated. Ask 300 people a bunch of questions and then work the percentages out and then from that small minority create a sweeping % to apply across the board. This is narrow-minded scope is exposed with only either Wii or the Sims being listed. Lumping people into an incorrect demographic to slap a label on it makes any facts or figures moot. I find it staggering the number of chauvinistic comments have been posted. It comes as no real surprise as the notion of female gamers seems alien to most people, gamers or not, which I think is really sad. A large percentage of the male gamers find the idea threatening; their pride and masculinity would be gravely wounded if they were to be beaten by a female. For anyone who hasn’t picked up on it by now, I’m a female gamer. I don’t play Wii and I don’t play Sims. So what does that make me? An anomaly to this survey? A social outcast as some vacuous cretin commented? You decide. don’t care about the statistics or other’s opinions of me. I am merely sharing an opinion from the demographic that seems to have you all p*ssing your pants and throwing your arms up in an outcry of immaturity. What is next? Someone shouting ‘cooties’? I’m a female gamer who loves FPS and violence, and I’m proud of it.

darklight4
darklight4

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

cockneyscouse
cockneyscouse

Does this statistic include transexuals? I often sit in a wig and high heels playing space invaders extreme.

steveguttenberg
steveguttenberg

I don't know anything about "totally x-treme gaming" but I wanted to congratulate Tigarian on a well-timed pun.

shabulia
shabulia

Of course the demographic for hardcore players is going down... when you make games that cater to the more casual player, that's going to be what sellls more. If hardcore games are on the decline, then hardcore players have less to play.

djcurry123
djcurry123

One of my best friends is a hardcore gamer. She is actually better than me in Halo and other FPS games.

Sins-of-Mosin
Sins-of-Mosin

What investment to learn? Most games on the Xbox 360/PS3 teach you how to play the game as you progress. If you can't handle pressing buttons then wtf are you doing when trying to drive a car!?!?! BTW, waving your arms around like a bee is on you is not gaming.

eal-zubieri
eal-zubieri

I am really suprise to see that ....?!

Zerobeam
Zerobeam

I agree with Raykuza whole-heartedely. I was rescuing princess Peach and Zelda back on the NES, battling Robotnik (WTF is Eggman) across the Genesis, flying dragons on the Sega Saturn, twisting metal on the Playstaion, and waiting in line to purchase a PS2 when I probably should've been in school. I love video games and have always. To me, this isn't just some passing fad or what's "hot" right now. Video games are very important, and everytime some company decides to make some half-@ssed attempt just to appeal to casuals, is almost like them mocking what video games are. Now me personally, I don't have a problem w/ girls playing games, and i'm absolutely sure that there are hardcore girl gamers out there. But every girl (or person for that matter) with a controller in hand isn't a gamer, and to bestow the title of "gamer" upon someone because they play The Sims and Wii Sports just isnt acurate

Mafia217
Mafia217

I've yet to see a female hardcore gamer.... but w/e

Raykuza
Raykuza

Here are my thoughts: I have no problem with females playing video games or considering themselves gamers or what-have-you. I don't care about that. No one does. The problem is that gaming as a subculture is being diluted with people who play casual games. I don't want to be thrown in with the same crowd that plays Wii-frikkin-Sports with their 4 year-old kid. They are not gamers. Gamers are the people that played video games when they weren't "cool" and, more importantly, when they weren't extremely marketable. Gaming is now a cash cow and the greedy are collecting the profits by churning out crappy television shows, "gamer fuel," (I am a human. I can eat regular food.) and, worst of all, sub-par games that cost little time to develop but sell like hotcakes to the soccer moms, their 4 year-olds and the girls that are attracted to "accessibility." Scott Ramsoomair put it excellently. "WE memorized the ultimate combos. WE wrote down pages of passwords. WE defeated the robotmasters, knocked out Tyson, AND SAVED THE ******* PRINCESS." Also, I lol'd at "extreme gamers." 39 hours per week = full-time job. No wonder we have the lowest income. :D

EdibleFood
EdibleFood

That lady has a really demonic look in her eyes...

aaronobst
aaronobst

@ darklight4 Chill out man, it was just a joke

Tigarian
Tigarian

All my bird does is the theme to the Andy Griffith Show. :-(

joeallen06
joeallen06

my bird plays kung fu panda and uncharted sometimes

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

Serveys are nice... they put everyone into little groups to try and make it easier for publishers to find their target markets easier and make moneys... but all in all they're pointless because they're usually forgetting that no matter what groups are out there... everyone does what they want, no matter what sex they are or how old they are or which of these steriotypes they've been branded with... Individuality wins over and ruins the nice little serveys lol.

Dominicobaggio
Dominicobaggio

None of them are real girls they are all fat balding perverts over 50 pretending to be girls :P Hot girls are just not into games, though i do know a few rare exceptions. At the most they like to watch decent games or play games which dont require skill. Wow that was such a sweeping statement, i feel angry at myself.... One thumbs down for me!

darklight4
darklight4

aaronobst] girls are more than just domestic house wives a good girl gamer is a good friend in my eyes

Meises
Meises

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Letmekilluplz
Letmekilluplz

Cool I've noticed some girls playing World at War sometimes. Now I just want one to beat my that would be humbling.

Stevieweiser
Stevieweiser

More "gamer" comments about something they really know nothing about...women that is. Even funnier is how you all slam games like Sims 3 and Wii games. Delusional is how I would describe gamers. They get on a site like this and feel it's completely devoted to them. The Sims and Wii games sell and make money much more broadly than any Call of Duty or Killzone game ever could hope to sell. While those games sell (like the survery says, the 4% hardcore gaming group buys everything but has no money for anything else) the game makers realize they'll only be able to sell so much so games either are too hardcore or too casual (the casual side always will make more money, sorry gamers, soccer moms buy their kids whatever they want). Lastly, women in gaming is something you all should embrace. While it won't nail you all the girls that appear on "Attack of the Show" that no hardcore gamer has any chance of getting (especially that nerd host who wears sports coats that are way too big) it might force you all to be socialable and put the controller down for a few hours for once. Some of you all will automatically think I'm being cruel with my comments but since you all have the time to make fun a cold dose reality survey/report it only seems fitting that I put it in plain terms (and point out how sexist you all really are).

aaronobst
aaronobst

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Zerobeam
Zerobeam

it seems like to me that if they wanted to convey the notion that girls play games, the girl in the little picture there should've been actually playing a game, instead of holding a Wii-mote staring into a camera...just an observation

darklight4
darklight4

more girls play video games really who cares but it aint a bad thing as a male gamer it would be nice to see more females in my local game store instead of the weener fest that it is

Jose_Rizal
Jose_Rizal

necronaux Posted Jul 4, 2009 5:15 am GMT -12 And they're all over 70 (not like the hot chicks in the ads). ============================ Yeah, like all male players are wearing glasses, pimpled and obese. But I know, you're probably right.

glez13
glez13

From what I remember that study about the 50% women on PC made it clear that they mostly play casual games like solitaire, peggle, bejeweled and stuff like that. No wonder women like the Wii. Chicks are casual.

neomorph03
neomorph03

women suck at video games..unless its cooking mama

Meises
Meises

"Women flocking to Wii"... Wow, they make us seem like were sheep... And, just for reference, I has a PS3, not a Wii:P

Elvis4576
Elvis4576

how much you wanna bet at least half are social outcasts

Meises
Meises

@Shtinky Yeah, we are taking over the male culture of gaming, and were not stopping there. Were gonna take over everything that is male *sarcasm* Get a new perspective. The games you have been playing all your life have had females developing them. Get over yourself and this sexist view you have, jeez...

PumpkinBoogie
PumpkinBoogie

@EdibleFood, Don't laugh, Sims 3 is the thang! So what if play it til my eyes fall out, lol. No seriously, at least they used that as the 'related game'. I swear, if they would've used Wii Sports, man.......:evil:

EdibleFood
EdibleFood

Also i LOL at how "related games" in the top is "The Sims 3"... lol

EdibleFood
EdibleFood

My sister literally stole my ps3 from me to play LittleBigPlanet and Pixeljunk Monsters

necronaux
necronaux

And they're all over 70 (not like the hot chicks in the ads).

PumpkinBoogie
PumpkinBoogie

@drunkenyak, Yeah, I'm glad I'm not the only that seem to catch that. Don't get me wrong I have nothing against the Wii or Nintendo (hell, my gaming years began w/ the original NES back in the late 80s), but c'mon now.....not every female gamer plays on a Wii. :roll: Do I play the Sims? Hell yeah, I love it--I make no bones about that. But why is that these 'surveys' only seem to factor in women and the Wii?? My god, there are those of us that--get this--own other systems, y'know like PS3 or 360....:shock:....image that? /sarcasm This ain't saying something we don't already know about.....how about they they actually do something productive and really survey all of us females out that truly get down with their gaming more than some Wii Sports. (Ok, fem rant over. Just had to get that out, lol)

Isamu_36
Isamu_36

I'm neither a casual nor a hardcore gamer; I just like gaming. The more games, the more to like; the more gamers, the richer the experience, the more variety, the more fun. it's a win-win situation. Unfortunately, some people, extremists, who aren't sure about themselves and their place on the world, illogically project their frustration onto gaming. If they really were interested in playing games instead of showing off their egos, they would welcome everything done by all companies to improve the gaming experience.