ESA Muddies Gaming Stats Between Male And Female Gaming Demographics
ESA Stats
(Last Updated On: April 20, 2017)

The Entertainment Software Association released their 2017 study breaking down gaming demographics and market diversity. They outline percentages of different demographics and what some of the most popular games are. However, they also take an opportunity to very much muddy the stats by failing to clearly define the categories, how they reached their numbers and categorical inclusion for their overall figures.

For instance, the one stat that instantly stands out is an oftentimes repeated figure that shows that women over 18 game more than boys under 18.

Of course more women over 18 will play more games than boys under 18 given that more women over 18 have access to smart devices than boys under 18. And given that women make up for half the mobile demographic when it comes to gaming, according to a report by NewZoo.

In fact, according to a 2017 study by Pew Research, 75% of women own a smartphone. In a separate study in 2015 Pew Research noted that 47% of smartphone owners used their phone for gaming. So nearly half of all smartphone owners in the U.S., game on their smart device. As noted in that NewZoo report, this would mean that female gamers playing on smart devices clock in at about 70 million. Quite naturally that would mean there’s a higher saturation of female gamers, generally speaking, in comparison to boys under 18.

The problem here is that the ESA report makes no effort whatsoever to breakdown:

1 – What percentage of male gamers under 18 own a smartphone
2 – What percentage of male gamers under 18 play mobile games
3 – How many hours a day male gamers under 18 play games in general
4 – What percentage of female gamers over 18 own a smartphone
5 – What percentage of female gamers over 18 play games on other devices
6 – How many hours a day female gamers over 18 play games in general

It’s easy to take general stats and smear them on top of each other so that the figures say what the statisticians want the data to say.

Typically, as noted in market research reports – like the 2016 smartphone report by Ukom – more women spend more time with their smartphones than men. So in order to really look into that stat from the ESA, we would need a proper breakdown of usage per age group and gender. Otherwise, you could add everyone in there who may have played a game of checkers, chess, Candy Crush or Words With Friends to that category and it could easily look as if in general, more women play more games than men, which would be true, but also disingenuous in regards to actual market trends in the core gaming sector.

For instance, the ESA breaks down what the top best-selling games were from 2016, but fails to mention what the split is between gender and age groups, giving the false impression that males and females are buying all the games on the charts in equal measure.

A lot of developers might assume they’ll have equal market breadth with their title by shaping it to fit a female demographic. This is something that Ubisoft tried with Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, and it ended up being one of the worst selling entries in the series, as reported by IB Times.

We’ve seen a lot of recent action-oriented games now starring female leads in hopes of tapping into a female market demographic. However, as reported in a DeltaDNA research report, majority of females just aren’t interested in the same kind of blockbuster action titles as males.

When the ESA puts out stats cross-pollinating the numbers to give the impression that all category of gamers are the same, it’s giving developers the wrong impression that their hardcore, violent, beat-’em-up action PvP game could sell just as well with the female audience as it does with males if they just replace the lead male with a female… right?

Wrong.

As the stats show, aiming games at a female audience in action categories seems fruitless, as proven with original action IP like Remember Me, Wet and Velvet Assassin failing to really take off, despite starring female and minority leads. This is not to say that developers shouldn’t make action games with female leads, but it is to say that it’s — on average — not going to attract a large female contingent.

This is also reflected in player bases for games like League of Legends and Dota 2, both of which have a healthy offering of female characters, but the stats appear to show that approximately 10% and only 4% of their respective player base are actually female players, according to a questionnaire and an LoL global reach report.


Alternatively, games like Kim Kardashian: Hollywood turned out to be a huge hit with – surprise, surprise – female mobile users. It was downloaded 42 million times and made $100 million in revenue over the course of two years via microtransactions, as reported by Fortune.

The stats for Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, a casual social sim, is identical to other socialite games and casual titles on mobile devices that actually attract large female audiences. As reported by M Dev, games like Bejeweled Blitz have a 78% majority female audience, along with the Candy Crush Saga games, which favors a 60% female audience. Keeping in line with the DeltaDNA statistics, the reports from AppData and NewZoo also reveal that PvP and FPS games like Clash of Clans and Call of Duty see higher percentages of male players.


The numbers don’t lie.

The data reveals that males and females just like different kinds of games, despite sharing a love for games. Muddied numbers that don’t properly breakdown the context behind figures, like in the ESA report, can be extremely misleading for developers looking for solid data on how to tweak their game or how they should construct their project for a specific demographic.

The ESA even managed to throw in some confusing figures based on game purchases, because they mention that majority of purchasers of games are males over 36…

…Yet they fail to distinguish if this is in relation to retail games, digital games, digital goods, apps, or mobile games. So are they saying that more men buy games but women play them in equal manner? Where does the mobile, browser and casual games fit into this? And does this have any overlap with the average usage data they touted earlier in the report?

Unfortunately the report is filled with questionable statistics and ill-defined numbers. Hopefully their next report will take time to properly outline and define each category.

(Thanks for the news tip Brad Glasgow)


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About

Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Alistair

    You notice no mention of ecchi games in the findings that tell me a lot about the report.

    Edit: what would be the title to name ecchi hentai games “kinky”

    • Ecchi games are a really small segment of the market, though. It’s like 4x strategy games or CRPGs. They’re sub-genre games that are usually just lumped in under the genre hierarchy. So technically ecchi games (if we’re counting most visual novels) would fall under the category of RPG or adventure, and ecchi platforming or survival games would still fall under the action/adventure category.

  • Pro-woman/feminist organization lying and propagating false statistics shocker.

    For the last 2-3 years, SJWs have been skewing statistics by including mobile “gaming” to make it appear as if there are more female gamers. It’s nothing new. I know because I was there when this 50/50 garbage was being defecated from the MSM and MSGM when Anita Sarkeesian was at her peak. It’s all designed to force convince developers/publishers to stop catering games towards male audiences and instead to cater to female audiences.

    Whilst we know the truth and facts, the problem is that normies and braindead sheeple do not, and they’ll completely suck up and swallow what the ESA feeds them. Unfortunately, this also seems to be the Western developers/publishers mindset.

    From a more egalitarian point of view, there’s nothing wrong with catering towards a female audience to make some profits, free market and all that. But when lies and deceit are used to force it then it’s unacceptable. Also, censoring and removing any original material that caters to males in order to cater to females is also unacceptable. The fact that Western developers/publishers completely go out of their way to ensure that nothing caters to Caucasians and men in their games proves that it’s nothing more than a biased political agenda.

    • SevTheBear

      I think last time I heard of Anita Sarkeesian online was when she was whining about butts in games. The only time I have heard of her in real life (where I live and work) was a professor who had tell me about the death treats and bla bla, when I asked her if she thinks things have changed in the gaming industry -__-

      Is Anita still on her BS on “Evil men in gaming” or has she jumped onto something else?

      • She’s doing some women in history garbage now I think, but a few weeks ago she had a whine at the new Zelda game.

        So basically, the faeces she has defecated all over the industry is nowhere near being cleaned up. It’s like that piece of turd that just simply won’t flush away.

  • Audrius Kliukas

    I don’t get why it’s so hard for these people to understand that women are interested in different types of games than men. Why do they have to mislead people into thinking that women are 50% of gamers by including mobile gaming?

    • SevTheBear

      Because they have an agenda and that is to make women (or rather third wave feminists) a majority in the gaming industry. This is what happens when feminism takes center stage instead of biology, common sense and logic. Many normies knows NOTHING about the gaming community and they will believe these reports without asking questions. It’s typical propaganda tactics and it works for the most part. The only thing Gamers can do is to vote with their wallet and voice their civil complains to the developers and publishers.

  • SevTheBear

    These reports are the worst when they don’t do their job properly. As you said Billy they have confuse publishers and devs and resulted in some really dumb decisions

    • they can confuse publishers and devs and can result in some really dumb decisions

      “they have confused publishers and devs and has resulted in some really dumb decisions”

      Fixed for accuracy.

      • SevTheBear

        Thank you cap

  • Jack Thompson

    “despite starring female and minority leads.”
    Why the need to mention minority? That wasn’t even the topic of discussion.

    • Because some SJWs claim that females + minority instantly opens a game up to wider demographics.

      Their claim is basically if you have a female lead, it’ll attract a bunch of female gamers, but if you have a female minority it’ll attract “underrepresented” demographics and widen the sales margins.

      I specifically wanted to point out that even including those in a game doesn’t guarantee sales from that demographic.

      • Jack Thompson

        It seems pretty irrelevant. I’m not disagreeing with you on the fact that think pushing minorities somehow adds greater marketability, but the topic of discussion was male vs female. Your reasoning for bringing it up tangentially, without any clarification in the article as to why you even said it, is weak.

        • the topic of discussion was male vs female. Your reasoning for bringing it up tangentially, without any clarification in the article as to why you even said it, is weak.

          Posterity.

          You seem to think that SJW folk take in information in a granular way, they don’t. Instead they cherry-pick and look to disseminate falsehoods based on misconstruing information.

          For example: an SJW could take the illustration I used in the article about females — and had I not made the comment about the games including a minority female lead — they would say “Well, those games didn’t sell well because they only focused on white female leads, not minority leads”.

          It’s a disingenuous way to discredit information. By specifically, and explicitly mentioning that the games featured both female and minority leads, it exemplifies that whatever sort of conditional waiver they would attempt to use to dismiss the data can then be nullified.

          I know it seems silly, but in one of the KIA threads where this article was posted, someone even attempted to do just that.

          Never underestimate the dishonesty of an SJW.

      • Patrick Chester

        It’s a bigotry of low expectations thing with progs/SJWs: They think people can only be inspired/like/etc a character that is exactly like them and therefore all the poor non-white minorities “need” characters exactly like them to enjoy a story.

        Another aspect of their bigotry is that they think white males are going to be “hurt” if a story has someone who isn’t a white male as a main character.

        It’s never about making a character who is a person you can understand or like to them. It’s about pandering to the groups they think are “oppressed” and inflicting pain on the “villain” groups they claim are responsible for the oppression.

        • Well said. In the process all it does is piss everyone off.

          Did they really think adding a bunch of super-fugly looking minority templates to ME: Andromeda would make minorities go “Wow, awesome! Representation!” I mean why would you want to play as an ugly character that’s supposed to represent you?

          It’s not just bigoted of them it’s also pretty darn racist (in more than one way) and vacuous.

        • Another aspect of their bigotry is that they think white males are going to be “hurt” if a story has someone who isn’t a white male as a main character.

          It’s never about making a character who is a person you can understand or like to them. It’s about pandering to the groups they think are “oppressed” and inflicting pain on the “villain” groups they claim are responsible for the oppression.

          This is it, absolutely spot-on. Most of these SJWs and feminists have no interest in and don’t play games, instead they really do seem more concerned with hurting the people they target rather than celebrating the garbage they inject.

          You can tell when you debate with SJWs/feminists (I used to do that a lot, and still do now sometimes) regarding censorship, they laugh and sneer at the fact that men have lost something they enjoyed more than they talk about the reasons on why they got it censored.

  • Of course more women over 18 will play more games than boys under 18 given that more women over 18 have access to smart devices than boys under 18.

    It’s even simpler than that. There are simply more 18+ women in the world than there are under-18 boys. It’s such a disingenuous comparison that I’m surprised they continue to get away with it.

    If it wasn’t for the blatant bias, reports like these would actually be excellent sources.

  • Disqusted

    Would be an interesting comparison to see stats for Japan. I’ve linked/translated some before, but I wonder what they’re like now.

    For example, every Japanese female I’ve met so far loves RPGs. Pretty sure that was high on the stats I translated before. But it doesn’t seem high on these ESA stats.

    • Japanese stats are actually nearly 50/50.

      I didn’t mention it in the report since the ESA’s stats were about American gaming habits, but there’s a much higher saturation of female gamers in the console space in Japan compared to North America.

      http://i.imgur.com/YI8e79Z.jpg

      As pointed out in the stats, the trends and games are similar to what Western female gamers like; RPGs, casual games, adventure games, etc.

      http://i.imgur.com/CfkWY4M.png

      I’m pretty sure the stats are similar in Europe as well.

      Unsurprisingly, Nintendo’s handhelds were (and still are) popular with females in Japan.

      http://i.imgur.com/bQN9qdL.png

      • Jack Thompson

        Surprise surprise. The country that hardly gives a fuck about identity politics, and making shallow appeals to women in its games has more mainstream console games that attract women.

        • I think a large part of that is due to Japan also being less risk averse. They have a lot of non-traditional games that appeal to a much wider demographic than what we get in the West.

          • Disqusted

            I think another big reason is because the Western media shits on gamers so much, it’s not as socially acceptable as it is in places like Japan. I hear women tend to avoid stuff that’s not socially acceptable.

      • Disqusted

        Yeah, sounds about right. Thanks.

  • Gozu Tennoh

    There’s a possibility proper games may get changed to suit some daft women playing peggle on her phone because of fraud like this.

    I personally think the western games industry is forever crippled and the american industry is dead.

    Could you provide links in your articles of where we can go to fight each of these scum, Billy?

    • Disqusted

      I think the game industry in general is on its last legs. Takes years to develop a single game, and it’s often all flash and little substance, on top of often being too similar to something else, whether it’s another game or its own prequels, or because it’s an HD remake.

      Couple that with all the bullshit politics, the corruption in both the industry itself and the media, and the leaning towards phone games. Doesn’t look good.

      • Audrius Kliukas

        No it’s not. Gaming industry is growing and will continue to do so. It’s bigger than movie industry and you think it’s dying? Lol. Just take a look at Steam stats. Last time I checked like a year ago it was 4 million concurrent users at any time, now it’s 8 million. Mobile games will NEVER replace conventional gaming, never.

        • daniel_ream

          Oh, good Lord.

          The gaming industry as a whole isn’t dying, no, but AAA console gaming is. Arguably it’s already dead. And PC gaming is a rotting corpse.

          Everyone likes to throw numbers around, but no one ever mentions the one number that actually matters: ROI. That’s what investors actually care about. It doesn’t matter if your AAA game sold $102M if it cost $100M to make and market; that’s a worse ROI than my daily checking account. Mobile phone games, micropayments, digital delivery and DLC are all rampant because they increase the ROI. The investors are simply going where the money can be made, and it’s the casual, mobile gaming space. Mobile gaming won’t replace conventional gaming because it’s not the same target market, but the AAA gaming field is going to go the same way the PC market did: shrunk to a small niche demographic of customizers and system tweakers.

          And arguably, since you need a certain minimal capital investment to carry off a AAA game, that might cause the genre to collapse. But I suspect improved game creation tools will bring 2017-era AAA game creation within the reach of a two or three person garage studio before that happens.

          • Thanks. I was gonna write something similar but you did a much better job of explaining the situation.

          • Audrius Kliukas

            Got anything to support your assertion that triple A gaming is dying or dead? Because numbers I see tell a different story and doesn’t support what you are saying at all. Overwatch is at what, 25 million players? For a game which cost 60-160 million to make, it’s damn good. Horizon Zero Dawn sold ~3 million copies and cost ~50 million to make. Witcher 3 cost ~80 million and sold 10 million copies as of last year. GTA V cost staggering 265 million, but also sold over 70 million copies. Bayonetta on PC sold 200k copies in first week for god’s sake.

          • daniel_ream

            Again, you’re mixing SKUs with dev budget. Like I said, it’s ROI that matters. Let’s take HZD: publisher profit is a little under 50% on console games. Marketing budget *averages* 100% of the dev budget. and can be much, much higher.

            So HZD has sold 3 million copies, making $90 million for the publisher – who spent at least $100 million total on producing and marketing the game. It hasn’t even broken even yet.

          • Audrius Kliukas

            Sure, but it has only been out for a month and a half. They are expecting 6 million sales by the end of the year and 8 million for the lifetime.

          • SevTheBear

            Depends on how many other games is coming out. For the companies the first month is where is counts. Every after is second banana

          • Audrius Kliukas

            Well, Witcher 3 didn’t sell 10 million copies in the first month. It was 4 million in two weeks. You could say that those further 6 million copies are just second banana, but it’s still 6 million god damn copies. Kinda like with movies, nobody expects to turn a profit on the opening weekend, do they? Or I am looking at it all wrong?

          • SevTheBear

            4 mil in the first month is very good and the 6 mil second bananas (dammit now I want to eat a bananasplit) ain’t bad at all. But then you look at companies like EA. They want to hit it BIG time the first month where the game can be sold at full 60$ + a 40-50$ season pass. After 2-3 months you can find most games and season pass for 30-40 bucks and sometimes even lower. It’s still money but not as much as the investors want. Hell they killed the Dead Space series because it didn’t hit over 4 mil with the third installment.

            I have seen good drown in the flood of other mediocre games many times.

          • Audrius Kliukas

            Yeah, well, if they expect to sell 50 gazillion copies in a week and then consider it a flop if it only sells 3 million or something, then it’s their own fault for having unrealistic expectations and probably spending way too much on development.

          • SevTheBear

            Many of these big companies spent like 80-500 mil $ (which is insane) on their games including PR. People want bigger, better, great quality and writing all the time

            EA didn’t want to spent that kind of money of Mass Effect Andromeda (we all saw how well that went). The cost of the games was 40 mil $ and the only made BIG pr the 2 weeks before launch. That says a lot of about their confidence in the product itself.

            Horizon Zero Dawn had a ton of buzz thanks to SONY giving it much PR. The game has sold 2.6 copies which ain’t bad for a new name. But even if the game sells 3 mil, it ain’t enough to cover cost of the game. If the game gets a sequel it depends on SONY and what they are willing to invest.

          • Audrius Kliukas

            500 million? Can you cite where you get these numbers from?

          • SevTheBear
          • Audrius Kliukas

            I’m know GTA V cost that much, but it’s a far cry from half a billion. With regards to Destiny, seems like that is Activision’s estimate including whole franchise, not a single game. Bungie has also disputed that number. Seems a bit disingenuous to put that number as an upper bound, when even if it’s accurate, it’s a single example and the next contender is only half that.

          • SevTheBear

            True. I guess Activision thought is was cool number

          • daniel_ream

            Whether it’s their fault is orthogonal to whether or not it’s happening, which is the issue at hand. You’ve had several examples of AAA games failing to make bank handed to you, and the pipeline is slowing to a trickle.

            Just to hit the ROI point again, keep in mind the total sales for a game series has to be amortized over the years of sale to get an annualized rate of return. If HZD does 6 million units in one year, that’s about 8%/a. You can get better than that in a mutual fund. And the entire Mass Effect 1-3 series lists a total of about 12 million SKUs over the lifetime of the entire franchise. You’re high if you think any single game is going to come close to that.

          • Audrius Kliukas

            Not every game succeeds, AAA or otherwise and nobody is saying otherwise. Therefore, no game succeeds? Also, are you saying that no game has ever sold more than 12 million units?

          • Actually… yeah…

            We did cover this specifically…

            http://www.oneangrygamer.net/2017/01/poor-game-offerings-see-uk-sales-down-13-4-in-2016-compared-to-2015/20471/

            http://www.oneangrygamer.net/2017/01/twitchs-most-watched-games-of-2016-proves-gamers-really-hated-2016-games/21510/

            http://www.oneangrygamer.net/2017/01/gamers-hated-2016s-games-according-to-steams-most-played-games-list/21102/

            http://www.oneangrygamer.net/2017/01/pc-gaming-generated-31-billion-in-2016-according-to-dfc-intelligence/20732/

            http://www.oneangrygamer.net/2017/01/steams-top-100-best-sellers-of-2016-arent-surprising-at-all/20304/

            There was a startling trend showing that a lot of games NOT released in 2016 were big sellers, and a lot of them that weren’t AAA titles were moving big product, especially in the PC market.

            Ubisoft, EA and Activision’s sales were all down compared to 2015. Even though CoD: Infinite Warfare was the top seller of 2016, it was down in sales 50% compared to Black Ops 3.

            Overwatch is at what, 25 million players? For a game which cost 60-160 million to make, it’s damn good.

            Right, but 25 million registered players isn’t sales. There’s redundancy in registrations; shared accounts; shared platforms; free trials; free weekends; beta tests.

            How many of those 25 million make up for the aforementioned categories versus individual unique SKU purchases? Blizzard never gave a figure and obviously it sold less than whatever the total number of The Division sold. We know that The Division had 9.5 million registered users, but again, that also accounts for free weekends, trials and beta tests. So we still don’t know exactly how much either game really sold. But it was obviously less than the four year old GTA V.

            Horizon Zero Dawn sold ~3 million copies and cost ~50 million to make.

            We know it did 2.6 million in two weeks but we haven’t had any further updates beyond that.

            But furthermore, games like Watch Dogs 2, Mafia III, Dishonored 2 and Steep failed pretty hard.

          • Audrius Kliukas

            Links you provided doesn’t support what you are trying to say at all. Billionth instalment of CoD didn’t do as well as last year’s? Gaming must be dead, surely. Not every game, even decent, is a best seller? Yeah, gaming is dead now, for sure. And that NVidia article completely contradicted what you are trying to prove here.

            “where they estimated that the PC gaming market revenue grew to $31 billion in 2016.

            They also cite NewZoo, who estimates that PC gaming is expected to grow by an additional 50 million users throughout 2017”

            So you are trying to prove that PC gaming is dead by citing your own source which says that it has grown and is continuing to do so. OK.

            “Ubisoft, EA and Activision’s sales were all down compared to 2015. ”

            That’s not true. Activision’s sales were up. Either way, this doesn’t mean gaming is dead or dying, not by a long shot.

            “Right, but 25 million registered players isn’t sales.”

            True, never said they were. However, if there are 25 million players, it stands to reason, I think, to safely assume that it translates to maybe 20 million actual copies, maybe more, not 5 million.

            “obviously it sold less than whatever the total number of The Division sold”

            Ugh, what? 25 million player game sold LESS copies than 9.5 million player game? How does that work? Even taking into account all those free weekends and shared accounts, there’s just no way.

          • LurkerJK

            if you ever even look in the general direction of a multiplayer game you are counted as a player, they use the artificially increased numbers to lure more ppl in, its not just an overwatch thing

            For example: I only played Warframe once for 30 minutes, did not feel it and never touched it again, i would never define myself as a “Warframe player” but you can be damn sure they are counting me

            i dont want to say a number without info but i wouldnt be surprised if the ACTUAL player count, ones that pay money for the game, are much lower than 25m

          • i dont want to say a number without info but i wouldnt be surprised if the ACTUAL player count, ones that pay money for the game, are much lower than 25m

            Well Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare didn’t even sell 25 million copies, and Overwatch is much further down the list than CoD. If CoD only did half of what Black Ops 3 did in 2015 during its first week, that means it only sold 3 million SKUs in week one. I’m assuming they eventually got it up much higher by the time 2016 ended, but that means Overwatch most certainly did less than 10 million.

            EDIT: Looks like GI biz says NBA 2K17 did 4 million SKUs and Overwatch was lower on the list than NBA 2K17… so it did just under 4 million in sales.

            http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2016-11-02-nba-2k17-mafia-iii-break-2k-launch-records

          • And that NVidia article completely contradicted what you are trying to prove here.

            How?

            They also cite NewZoo, who estimates that PC gaming is expected to grow by an additional 50 million users throughout 2017″

            Yeah, and this fits in line with what everyone else is saying: that indies and mid-budget titles are on the rise as people veer away from the AAA business model. That fits perfectly in line with what I was saying. Especially given that games like Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds and ARK have proven that indies and mid-budget studios can sell as many copies as AAA studios… at least on PC anyway.

            That’s not true. Activision’s sales were up. Either way, this doesn’t mean gaming is dead or dying, not by a long shot.

            In their AAA sector? CoD was down and Skylanders was down compared to previous years:
            http://nintendoeverything.com/rumor-skylanders-2017-cancelled-series-future-unclear/

            Sure overall they may have been up counting DLC, microtransactions and expansions, but the point was that there’s a dip in AAA game sales. All the stats seem to show that.

            I’m not saying “gaming is dying”, I’m saying the traditional AAA model is dying. Literally, that’s what the numbers are suggesting.

          • Ugh, what? 25 million player game sold LESS copies than 9.5 million player game? How does that work? Even taking into account all those free weekends and shared accounts, there’s just no way.

            Overwatch sold less than NBA 2K17 and NBA 2K17 only sold 4 million.
            http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2016-11-02-nba-2k17-mafia-iii-break-2k-launch-records

            I’d estimate digital sales and resale may put Overwatch at somewhere between 5 and 6 million.

            If it were really anywhere near 20 million Activision clearly would have touted that number to the high heavens.

          • Disqusted

            Yeah, I forgot about that. Mobile games cost a lot less to develop and get much higher returns. They also appeal to wider demographics by default because they can be played while on the move, and are often short experiences that can be picked up and put down easily.

            And yeah, AAA devs tend to avoid experimenting because one mistake could lead to bankruptcy.

        • Disqusted

          They say it’s growing, but look at the amount of games we’re getting, especially from AAA devs. There are far less games, and they tend to be so similar and uninspired. Look at how many games are sequels or remakes. A lot of games get hyped up for ages and turn out to be disappointing, too.

          There are indie games and stuff, yes. But it’s still difficult to sift through all the nonsense flooding marketplaces. Kinda reminds me of the last video game crash.

          Sure, you can look at the numbers of gamers, and it looks like it’s growing. But you also have to consider the quality of the games. I think it’s pretty obvious that companies are trying really hard to appeal to more demographics, and that often results in crappier games. That may end up driving people away from gaming.

          Obviously it’s not something that’s going to happen suddenly, but I still feel the outlook isn’t good. I’m not the only one who bought a PS4 and feels there’s almost nothing worthwhile to play on it. I never had that problem with any of the other previous consoles.

          I’m not so sure about the mobile games replacing conventional gaming. I don’t want it to happen. But I’ve heard Japanese friends talking about most artists/devs moving to mobile platforms. The fact is resources that could have been spent on conventional games has ended up going to mobile. Or even worse, pachinko.

          And mobile gaming also suffers from the same sifting through piles of clone trash nonsense. Which, if I recall correctly, was part of the reason for the previous video game crash, and why Nintendo started using the “Nintendo Seal of Approval”.

          I guess part of what I’m trying to say is, I feel a lot of people are making games for the wrong reasons: to copy an existing game, to get rich, to push a political agenda, to tell a story, to show fancy visuals, etc. I personally feel that focusing on making games for those reasons will eventually lead to a negative conclusion.

          How many are actually making games because they want to make a fun game that people can enjoy? Doesn’t feel like many are. It feels like the game/fun part is taking a backseat to all the other stuff. That’s just my personal impression, though.

          • Audrius Kliukas

            Yeah, I’d rather trust the numbers, not some guy saying “looks like we are getting less games”. There were more games released in 2016 than in 2015. Nearly 40% of Steam’s library was released in 2016, which is more than in 2015. And how do you quantify the quality? If it just looks like that to you, great, not very convincing though.

            “I’m not the only one who bought a PS4 and feels there’s almost nothing worthwhile to play on it”

            Sure, you aren’t, but I can’t relate. There isn’t enough time in the day to play everything I would like to play.

            “That’s just my personal impression, though.”

            And that’s the point. It’s not my personal impression at all.

      • Gozu Tennoh

        For the Japs, mobile gaming is a hideous carbuncle that drains us of games that have potential greatness which is lost the second you see vita or 3ds. (valkyrie profile, parasite eve, and caligula effect spring to mind)

        Very frustrating.

  • Michael P

    The genre statistics are the ones the devs should be paying the most attention to, regardless of platform.

    You’re looking to please the most amount of people whilst also trying not to alienate too large of a group. Obviously you want as many people as possible playing your game but not at the expense of most of your player base.

    Trying to get “everyone” always leads to satisfying no one. It’s not rocket science.

    • Jack Thompson

      “regardless of platform.”
      Mobile is dominated mainly by women, not men.

  • Salt Miner

    The ESA are in some serious denial if they think women playing moblie games like Candy Crush and Bejeweled on their smart phone vastly outweighs male gamers on Consoles and PC’s.

    Pfft… typiclal feminists and white knight cucks.

    • Disqusted

      I guess they’re not counting all the poor people who mostly pirate stuff?

      I remember ESA’s past statistics being questionable. In one year, they went from some tiny amount of female gamers (17%? I forget) to around 50%. If I recall correctly, it coincided with having a new feminist CEO. And you know feminists LOVE making fake statistics.

    • The ESA are in some serious denial if they think women playing moblie
      games like Candy Crush and Bejeweled on their smart phone vastly
      outweighs male gamers on Consoles and PC’s.

      Not denial, misrepresentation.

      They’re trying to convince the industry that they shouldn’t focus on gendered products (if you click through that DeltaDNA link above, and read through the piss poor market analysis from their own research report, they try to pass it off that gendered marketing is what’s keeping women out of the hardcore PvP and FPS genres).

      ESA is dishonestly doing the same thing, which is why they don’t even mention the breakdown of who is playing what and the age groups and genders for the categories of games. They’re still trying to subvert the industry by trying to convince people that it’s a 50/50 split in all areas of gaming.

      You can join 100 Battlefield or CoD matches and know that that’s a load of bull.

      • If that’s the case, then apart from the gaming media, this is the strongest tool they have to wrangle control over the gaming industry for their agenda.

      • Disqusted

        Kinda reminds me of when I asked a Canadian friend about his experiences with female players on online FPS games. If I recall correctly, he said he hasn’t seen many, and when he does, they tend to be the ones treating everyone like shit. They go out of their way to make everyone know they’re female, and then demand special treatment, and try to control how people play. If they don’t get what they want, they throw a tantrum.

        Obviously I’m not saying all females are like that. Just saying what I recall from asking the friend about his personal experiences. Maybe FPS attracts that kind of person. I haven’t had good experiences with FPS players in general.

        I haven’t played online FPS for decades, but I’ve met plenty of reasonable female players in MMOs. Also met some nasty American women who manufactured controversy to bully people, but that’s another story.

        • daniel_ream

          I don’t know whether Canada is at all different than the US, but that does coincide with my experiences (I’m in Canada). It’s worse in FPSes, but I’ve seen it in MMOs as well.

          Just to throw some gasoline on the fire, the only three female online gamers I know in meatspace are all serious headcases with abuse in their backgrounds. The online gaming is clearly a way for them to exert control over some aspect of their lives. I’ve seen them literally have meltdowns when they get soundly, fairly beaten in PvP.