SXSW08: on female love for casual gaming
Without taking console games into account, how big exactly is the casual gaming market? It is at least safe to say the business is in good shape, and we can thank female gamers who enjoy casual offerings for that. At the SXSW Interactive Festival 2008, casual game developer big wigs sat down to discuss about what’s hot and what’s not as far the female audience is concerned. Find out what they had to say at the full article.
Among the many discussions at the SXSW Interactive Festival 2008, interesting factoids came up regarding casual games and how females approach them. Panelists provided numbers revealing that female gamers prefer computers as their gaming platform, and they went into what the non-male audience enjoys.
The data brought to light doesn’t vary from what we’ve heard before – women still dominate the casual gaming scene as they take up 62% of the casual audience, while 70% get their gaming fix from computers instead of consoles. One panelist, CEO John Welch of PlayFirst, said 90% of consumers who purchased the casual game Diner Dash are female.
Welch explained women are likely to enjoy games set in “everyday types of themes,” as opposed World of Warcraft‘s fantasy universe which he believes can turn off his wife before giving it a chance.
The panelists were on the same boat when they talked about how female gamers prefer collaborative goals over competitive ones, with Kongregate CEO Jim Greer using an anecdote to illustrate how females work well with games played by groups such as bingo. For those who didn’t know, Kongregate is a massive portal of Flash games with its user base 85% male according to Greer.
Another game that promotes socializing is InkLink, as pointed out by Welch. It’s an online Pictionary-style game by Shockwave that provided players an opportunity to form relationships.
With enough games in the market to satisfy the female audience, the panel expects casual gaming to rake in more revenues in the future now that players don’t have to pay for their games when the in-game item pay model is employed. Advertising was also cited as a source of income in the casual games business.