Women represent nearly half of the US population that plays games, according to the Entertainment Software Association, but their interest and participation in esports pales in comparison to general gaming. That said, Interpret’s research indicates that more and more women have been watching and playing esports games in the last few years.
According to Interpret’s New Media Measure ®, a quarterly survey of over 9,000 US consumers, only 15% of esports fans were women in 2016, but that number has grown to 23% as of 2019. Esports fans are those who actively follow players, teams, and leagues, and they typically spend more, an important fact for brands and advertisers. While esports has been gaining traction among women, it still trails women’s overall interest in general gaming. Interpret data shows that 42% of core gamers – those who play console/PC for at least an hour per week – are women, but there remains untapped potential in esports viewership with just 31% of casual esports viewers being women. Including more women in the esports ecosystem will be vital to broadening esports’ overall appeal.
As more and more women start participating in esports, and as female viewership grows, there is untapped potential for numerous non-endemic brands to leverage competitive gaming.