Sexes play mobile games same amount but differently, says Amazon/Harris study

While one might expect that the mobile gaming market is primarily male, research finds that the "gaming culture has continued to evolve with a nearly-equal split between male and female gamers."

That is the finding of research by Amazon and Harris Interactive, which teamed up to determine how changing demographics with men and women specifically affect the mobile gaming world.

In an email to FierceMobileIT, the firms noted that "the industry has placed a lot of emphasis on addressing the equalizing audience split between men and women." But they wanted to learn more about the different behaviors that men and women exhibit while playing mobile games.

"In the survey, we asked both sexes if they would feel competitive in certain gaming scenarios, how they would share their top scores (if at all), whether reviews could convince them to purchase a mobile game, what ways they would complain about bugs/glitches, and more," the firms told FierceMobileIT.

Based on analysis of the survey results, three top insights were identified:

Men are more competitive than women in mobile gaming

"Men who play mobile games are more likely to feel more competitive than their female counterparts when a friend or family member is better (e.g. getting better scores, beating the game more easily) at the time they play most often (53 percent to 45 percent respectively)," the firms said.

Women are less social about their gaming experience

Women are less likely to share their top scores in mobile games than comparative men (43 percent to 53 percent), share screenshots of top scores with friends/family (6 percent to 10 percent), or complain about bugs/glitches (52 percent to 69 percent) in their favorite mobile games."

Women are leading the trend towards Free-to-play (F2P)

"Female mobile gamers prefer free to play games more than their male counterparts (84 percent to 77 percent), and are less likely to pay for a game (27 percent to 40 percent)."

So what the lessons in all this for mobile game developers? A few suggestions offered by Amazon and Harris Interactive include:

  • Developers should consider the balance of leaderboards and achievements within their games. For example, females may be more apt to work towards achievements as self-motivation vs. getting to the top of a leaderboard.
  • If developers have a game that they think is more female friendly, it might make sense to publish it as F2P.
  • Developers may use the data as rationale to change their marketing strategies. If they have a female-focused game and see that reviews aren't really helping drive sales, they may want to allocate more marketing funds to another means of getting the word out for their title.

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