Your mom is the new teenager in the gaming world. Nowadays if you want to get in front of the consumers who make 85% of purchasing decisions in a household you need to focus at least some of your outreach efforts in the gaming sphere. That’s because there’s a shift happening where the gamer stereotype is concerned. Headsets and Halo are making room for minivans and mom jeans.
Moms in the gaming Industry
New stats published by the Entertainment Software Association show that adult women ages 18 and up are now the largest video game playing demographic in the country. More importantly, research firm Interpret for WildTangent found that a large percentage of those women are moms. A surprising 80% of mothers are firing up mobile games at least once a week, with 68% of pregnant moms playing daily. There is no doubt that women are reinforcing their leadership as major consumers as they are in charge of the disposable income in the household.
Moms geeking the gaming world
What this means for marketers? That’s important because as noted above moms drive the vast majority of household buying decisions for American families and, as a group, they tend to be fiercely loyal to the brands they love. They’re also 38% more likely to own smartphones than the general population and 58% more likely to shop with those phones. Even better, it appears that moms are especially responsive to mobile advertising with nearly 40% of moms of older kids buying from brands they see advertised when they’re playing games.
Developers are responding to this demographic shift, albeit slowly. One notable change is that there’s a growing body of women protagonists in new releases. And smart companies are finding new ways to implement advertising and digital sales in their mobile games. The challenge is determining which games women – and moms – are not only downloading but also playing on a regular basis. Big data is starting to quantify the gaming habits of moms but it may be some time before ad placement is anything more than a guessing game.
Moms moving into the gaming Sphere
It’s only recently that marketers realized that game developers needed to cast a wider net to finally win a dominant spot over consoles in the gaming sphere. Just a few years back the very idea that mobile could jump ahead of consoles in terms of industry dollars would have been ridiculous because of mobile’s obvious limitations but then innovations like Snapdragon’s advanced GPUs gave developers a chance to begin releasing titles that were not only addictive in their playability but also rich in plot and attractive to the eye. That alone broadened the potential audience for mobile games substantially as people who already had trouble putting their smartphones down suddenly had a whole new class of amusements at their fingertips.
One other important result of moms moving into the gaming sphere is that customer service is becoming a fully integrated element of the development cycle. Moms may be highly loyal to the products and services they love, but their tolerance for lax quality is equally low. Moms are also one of the biggest social media users and just as likely to sing the praises of something they enjoy as to publically put down something they don’t.
Clearly, women with kids and without are no longer a demographic that can be overlooked by game companies and the marketers who work with them. Both will need to court this new mom majority for mobile to stay on top.