EA founder: Women have taken over tech purchasing

Trip Hawkins says since arrival of iPhone and iPad, women have become principal purchasers of family technology, and games are next.

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Women have taken over technology purchasing for their households, and games are next, Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins said during the GamesBeat conference this week.

"For the first time in history, women have taken over technology-buying for their families," Hawkins said during a panel discussing mobile advertising attended by VentureBeat.

Hawkins founded EA and Digital Chocolate. He now operates If You Can, a London-based studio developing educational games for mobile devices.

He explained that product makers typically broke down home appliances into two categories: "white goods" for the kitchen and laundry room (bought by women) and "black goods" like TVs and other furnishings for a living room (bought by men).

This traditional understanding has changed, Hawkins said, pointing to the arrival of the iPhone and iPad as the moment when this shift began. He said mothers are now the principal purchasers of electronics for their households and also generally oversee their family's media consumption.

"This is a really big social-cultural change, and it's going to open up dozens of new markets--both for the women and for their kids," Hawkins said. He explained that game publishers could tap into "mommy blogs" to promote children's games.

Cross-platform app publisher Animoca CEO David Kim offered a similar opinion.

"I'm surprised more game developers haven't caught on to the whole 'women' genre and the strength of it," Kim said. "There's definitely a more steady buying power [from female players] that we're noticing in our own games."

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