The transformation of video games from a niche hobby into a legitimate cultural phenomenon is complete in 2019 and, more than anything else, that means traditionally ignored demographics finally getting their fair shake.
Girls of all ages used to be considered second-class citizens in the gaming world, but with 49% of women saying they’ve played video games in the past twelve months, it’s clear that the notion that women are a minority is a pretty silly one in 2019.
But while 50% of women play video games, that doesn’t mean that we’re sharing every genre 50/50 with men. In fact, when it comes to taste in video game genres, men and women are often very different. Which are the genres that analysis suggests have the highest female player bases? Let’s take a look.
The Most Most Popular Genres Amongst Women
MMOs and RPGs
It’s been an amazing few years for RPGs with classics like Breath of the Wild, Final Fantasy XV, Monster Hunter: World, The Witcher 3, Horizon: Zero Dawn and so many more. Add to that the continued popularity of huge titles like Mass Effect, World of Warcraft and more, and you’ve got a potent genre pairing.
With a focus on storytelling and immersion, MMOs and RPGs have proven to be a huge hit with modern female gamers, with 36% and 30% of their user bases being female respectively.
Casino games are popular across the gender spectrum, but women have a special place in the online casino space. New platforms and games have sprung up aimed specifically at women, focussing on slot games and other casino games which show a heavy skew towards women.
It’s been aided by the dramatic increase in new online casinos with mobile-friendly websites, and a broader range of themes – from party and fun to adventure – bringing the casino experience to just about everyone.
So-called “Match 3” games took the gaming world by storm with a little title by the name of ‘Candy Crush’. Ever since? Well, it’s been the dominant genre for casual play on everything from mobile consoles to smartphones.
Today, there are thousands of Match 3 games, all offering subtle variations on the theme originally popularised by Bejeweled. According to research, 69% of this game’s user base are women.
Family & Farming Simulations
According to Quantic Foundry’s analysis of genre gender share, the only genre which replicates Match 3’s dominance in women players is Family and Farming Simulation Games.
Made most popular in the Facebook era with titles like FarmVille but with their roots in titles like Harvest Moon, Farming and Family Sims, these games offer a low-stress, free way to get into gaming. 69% of those that play (or rather, admitted to playing) farming and family sims are women.
Puzzle games come in a pretty incredible variety of shapes and sizes, from Valve’s iconic Half-Life spin-off Portal to Jonathan Blow’s beguiling puzzle masterpiece The Witness. From simple smartphone puzzlers to mind-bending hardcore titles found on PCs and consoles, it seems like a real mental workout is always on the cards, with 42% of players being women.
Of course, these are just the results of a large-scale survey and obviously doesn’t mean that these are the only games women play. In fact, the analysis finds that women play every kind of game. Join us in the comments below to tell us your favourite genre 👇