Female gamers are set to spend more than £1bn on video games over the next 12 months, thanks to the growth in mobile gaming.
Despite a historic focus on male gamers in the industry, research by Barclay’s Corporate Banking has found that the uptake in mobile gaming on smartphones has meant that more and more women are becoming involved in gaming.
Mobile phones are now the most popular gaming platform, with 53 percent of respondents using them compared to 37 percent using tablets and consoles.
Pokémon Go, the augmented reality Pokémon mobile game, was released last year with much fanfare.
At its peak, it had around 21m active daily users, and a year later remains the top grossing app in Apple’s iOS App Store.
The Barclay’s research showed that women are often more inclined to see gaming as a solitary activity, with 82 percent of women surveyed preferring to game on mobile devices which are often single-player titles.
In contrast, men often see gaming as a social activity, choosing to play games with friends, either in person or online.
Sean Duffy, head of technology, media and telecoms at Barclays, said:
Our research finds that the majority of female gamers engage through mobile, and the growth of mobile titles has no doubt been central to increased uptake by women. Of all of the platforms we surveyed, mobile is forecast to see the most growth over the next 5 years. There is a big opportunity for developers to expand the female market with mobile games targeting women.
In addition, gaming is on the rise in the UK, which is great for the industry as it means gamers will spend more money on their hardware.
Virtual reality headsets, like those produced by Oculus Rift and HTC, will get a boost from this as 15 percent of those surveyed said they were planning to invest in a new gaming headset.
As well, the research found that UK games companies would benefit from promoting their origins.
Popular games such as Grand Theft Auto V and Batman Arkham Night were made in the UK, yet consumers often attribute these games to the US games industry.
Of the regular gamers surveyed, 15 percent said they would choose a British game over one made abroad if they knew of its provenance.
According to the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) the UK games industry was worth £4.33bn in 2016, up 1.2 percent from 2015.