Previously, I wrote a small piece about women in video games. Not only do I think that women, in their struggles, have a lot of interesting, compelling, and important stories to tell, but they are a hugely underserved market. There is a pretty pervasive bit of conventional “wisdom” that women as a group don’t play very many video games, and/or that they are not a profitable market to target. I think this is not just wrong, but wrong-headed. Let’s take a look at a few numbers.
It turns out that in every single one of the key markets for western game developers, women outnumber men. This includes pretty much all of Europe, Japan, Australia, all of North America, and four of the largest economies in South America including the top two (Brasil and Argentina). Think about this. By excluding women from games and gaming culture, either by action or by inaction, we are in fact excluding most of everyone who could potentially be a fan. This is not only indefensible from a social equality standpoint, it is also economically untenable. With all the cutbacks and layoffs at the biggest studios, a perpetually waning print media, and the always-hard life of the average indie developer, it seems like a no-brainer to court female gamers.