Nintendo UK's Rob Lowe said after the UK launch of the Wii that one in 10 people in the queue were women. In fact, even more than 10 percent of game players are female, according to a new report.
A survey by TNS Worldpanel Entertainment has found that the market spend by older people has grown by 41 percent over the past four years, making over-45s the fastest-growing group of gamers in the UK. Game sales to women have also grown a massive 67 percent over the same time period, whereas sales to men have remained almost the same, rising only 4 percent.
Games such as Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain? (known as Brain Age in the US) and the Nintendogs series, which are marketed at nontraditional gaming demographics, look to be "well placed," according to the survey. Over-45s spent £81 million ($158 million) on game software last year, and 24 percent of money spent on Nintendo DS games was from over-45s, 41 percent from women.
Other companies would do well to follow suit, according to TNS Worldpanel Entertainment. Its report states, "This suggests a large untapped market for games makers, who may need to focus their attention on areas other than the already saturated, traditional younger male market."
Women still have a fair way to go to catch up to male gamers in the UK, although they're closing fast--men account for 66 percent of sales, and women for 34 percent.
The report also found that Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo make up 97 percent of the console games market, with Sony holding 67 percent, Microsoft holding 22 percent, and pre-Wii Nintendo at just eight percent.
TNS research manager Lucy Burton commented on the Wii launch, "Our latest figures bode well for the new Wii console as Nintendo has been quite vocal about plans to attract totally new buyers into the market with the UK launch on Friday."
The report was based on TNS Entertainment data for the 52 weeks ending October 2006 and consisted of a sample of 10,000 demographically representative British citizens, ages 12 to 80.