Friday, June 30, 2006

Parks Associates: Women Dominate Mobile Phone Gaming

Parks Associates has issued a new report that finds "women represent 59% of all U.S. consumers who play games on a mobile phone. Furthermore, women comprise 61% of all those playing mobile phone games 1-4 hours per month and 58% of all those playing for more than four hours per month."

According to Parks Associates, "these findings concur with the overall demographic makeup of Internet gamers, where women are the majority due to their penchant for online trivia and card games. Men, on the other hand, hold the majority among gamers who play intense action and role-playing games, and there is not a comparable group of male users in the mobile gaming space."

John Barrett at Parks Associates said, “Women are the foundation of the gaming market, and as an industry, we need to cater to their preferences. This effort is key to future revenue growth because right now women generally spend little on gaming even though they like to play games and often have disposable income. The industry just needs to find a game they are willing to pay for.”

I have to agree. My 8 year-old daughter is still a portable gaming junkie after receiving a Nintendo DS for her birthday in January. And now her friends are too, and all because there are compelling and fun games that are not necessarily geared specifically towards girls but are appealing to them nonetheless.

As for women and casual games, there seems to be opportunity there as well. My wife has never liked playing games on the PC, PlayStation 1 & 2, XBOX 360, GameBoys or DS. She just wasn't interested. For her most recent birthday, one of the gifts I gave her was the DS game Brain Age, because it also has Sudoku, which my wife enjoys playing in the daily paper.

At first she gave me one of her, "what am I going do with this?" looks, but over time she started playing and now most evenings she borrows my daughter's DS to unwind with a few games of Sudoku. I'm sure if I purchased her a DS Lite with the new Sudoku Gridmaster game, she would complain at first before settling in for several games a day...