Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Games Women Play (On the Phone)

Female gamers are increasingly becoming a prime target for the gaming industry, especially in the nascent cell phone gaming market. The San Francisco Business Times writes about LimeLife, a publisher of mobile content for women, that is capitalizing on the trend after recently landing $5 million in venture funding.

According to Yankee Group analyst Mike Goodman, "women spend more time playing mobile games than men, though there is still a dearth of companies designing games specifically to meet their interests."

Overall mobile gaming is just a small piece of the gaming market. It is however, growing rapidly. The article cites reseach from Jupiter that claims mobile gaming "generated revenue of $72 million in 2004, triple that of the previous year. By 2009, Jupiter expects mobile game revenue to reach $430 million."

The female gaming market has traditionally been underserved by the gaming industry. Many of the games my 7-year old daughter plays are pretty poor in my opinion, but unfortunately there is such a shortage of quality product we end up settling for "branded" titles (i.e. Barbie, etc) that aren't very good. Let's hope companies like LimeLife can address this problem since there is a lot of untapped potential. Whether the cell phone is the right medium for women and mobile gaming is a whole other story....