Quantic Foundry, a video game consultant agency, is digging into the often quoted statistic that half of all gamers are women. Often this stat is quoted as either a way to show how far the industry has come, or it is dismissed, with many designers assuming that most of the women who game play “casual” games.
So Quantic Foundry is breaking it down by genre. In their Gamer Motivation Profile, they asked more than 270,000 gamers worldwide, about 18% of which self-identified as female, to list specific game titles/franchises that they enjoy playing, up to 9 games. Obviously, the respondents play more than just these 9 games, but having them list the ones they most enjoy points the survey company towards what genres of games the respondent generally likes to play.
In order to define a genre, Quantic Foundry picked some major games to exemplify the category. For example, when they talk about High Fantasy MMOs, they are talking about games like World of Warcraft, Rift, Lord of the Rings Online, EverQuest II, and The Elder Scrolls Online.
Through their survey, they found that 69% of the women who took the survey mentioned that they like to play Match 3 games and Family/Farm Simulator games. On the low end, only 2% of the female gamer respondents said that they liked playing Sports games.
Interestingly enough, there are some discrepancies within the genres themselves, based on games. For instance, for High Fantasy MMOs, Star Wars: The Old Republic is a huge outlier, and is skewing the genre percentage high. SWTOR is played by 29% of the women respondents. Without SWTOR factored in, the genre average would only be 11%.
The same thing can be noted for Dragon Age games in the Western RPGs category. A huge 48% of the female gamers who took the survey mentioned Dragon Age: Inquisition as a game they play, versus an overall 26% for the rest of the category.
Quantic Foundry goes into more details about their findings in their report, which is definitely worth a read. Previously the company did a study about what games each gender finds the most “enjoyable,” and can help inform Quantic Foundry’s newest findings.