Video game and esports analytics firm Newzoo recently released a new report that examines the differences between male and female gamers in the West when it comes to choosing games to purchase and play. Newzoo’s data suggests that there are striking differences between how different people discover new games and claims that females are more likely to decide based on personal, social recommendations while males more often base their decisions on trusted online reviews.
Newzoo shared a graph to demonstrate their findings in their report of the study. According to their research, 45% of female gamers surveyed responded that they go to their family and friends for game recommendations, a trend demonstrated by only 32% of male respondents. On the topic of reviewer’s recommendations, 19% of male gamers polled like to base their gaming decisions on the opinion of reviews by online and print game publications, compared to only 13% of polled females.
More contrasts between the two demographics also emerged from Newzoo’s market insight study. 29% of male respondents are influenced by the recommendations and advice of online gaming channels, compared to 16% of women. One similarity that the data shows is that both male and female gamers discover new titles through online advertising and traditional commercials, and there is only a minor difference when it comes to making purchasing decisions based on social media posts.
Newzoo also conducted research to try and discover what motivates male and female gamers to ultimately choose the titles that they play. “more than half of all the men we surveyed found the following important when deciding to play a game: completing objectives and achieving goals (55% of men vs. 49% of women), challenging strategic aspects (51% of men vs. 39% of women), and exploring worlds and storylines (50% vs. 37%),” Newzoo’s report summarizes.
“There was just one factor that women found more important than men: games that are easy to quickly pick up and play (53% vs. 48% of men). It is also the most common thing women find important when it comes to reasons for playing, and the only gameplay factor over half of female respondents chose. Still, men also find it important for games to be easy to pick up and play.” Newzoo attributes these tendencies to the success of “Time Filler” (Newzoo’s term for a player who plays games when they have “time to spare or at social events”) games like Candy Crush and the Super Mario and The Sims franchises. Newzoo reports that one quarter of female gamers reported playing Candy Crush in the past six months.
The top three franchises for male gamers in turn were Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, and Super Mario. Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto both focus on completing objectives and player progression, and Newzoo points out that this is especially true in their online modes. Both demographics like Super Mario games–Newzoo counts all Mario titles, including Mario Kart and Super Mario Party titles.
Newzoo also specifically mentions that the stereotypical assumption that women in general don’t take an interest in gaming (Newzoo notes that 46% of all gamers are female), sharing that according to their Gamer Segmentation studies women make up “a significant share of more-core gamer personas worldwide, including Hardware Enthusiasts (40% women), Conventional Players (38%), and Ultimate Gamers (35%).” These are Newzoo’s unique categories for denoting different types of gaming enthusiasts and hobbyists.
Newzoo’s industry tool-based Game Brand Tracker report will release soon, and the company says it will demonstrate that “the gender divide between [gamers] who play even the most core of titles is disappearing” with a focus on RPG games, specifically Pokémon and 2020’s Cyberpunk 2077.