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New research suggests almost a third of esports viewers are women

New research suggests almost a third of esports viewers are women

A new report shows an increase in female esports viewers over the last two years.

That's according to data from market research firm Interpret, which shows that the number of women engaging with competitive gaming is significant and still growing.

This report refutes the notion - and stereotype - that the vast majority of those involved in esports, from players to casters to viewers, are young and male. 

The company found that by the end of 2018, 30.4 per cent of esports viewers were women - a 6.5 per cent increase from the end of 2016.

The number of women playing competitive games on PC or console sits a little higher at 35 per cent, while the percentage viewing esports leagues is a tad lower at 20.3 per cent.

The report does, however, cite that key esports titles like Dota 2, Counter-Strike and even Overwatch fail to capture the female viewership thanks to low involvement rates both on-and-off camera.

Sadly, there aren't any examples given for titles that do encourage women to watch or play esport-centric games. But the firm's VP of research for Europea Tia Christianson said that growth in the female esports audience could come from "non-traditional" genres, as well as from titles in for mobile devices. 

“Changing behaviours among a large segment of people is difficult," Christianson said.

"Progress of this size always takes time; however, a 6.5 per cent gain in gender share over a two year period is a trend in the right direction. If two years from now, females grab an additional six per cent in share, esports viewership will be in gender split parity with what we consider standard among traditional console and PC games.

"As an industry, more progress will be made as females’ role in traditional esports titles continue to grow, given the efforts from some of the industry leaders. More likely than not, a lot of that growth may come in non-traditional esport genres, and especially games tailored to mobile and tablet devices.”

 

Staff Writer

Natalie Clayton is an Edinburgh-based freelance writer and game developer. Besides PCGamesInsider and Pocketgamer.biz, she's written across the games media landscape and was named in the 2018 GamesIndustry.biz 100 Rising Star list.

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