The Way Consumers Interact with Games Is Changing; Nearly Half of Gamers Are Female; Over Half Are 30+
Following the launch of NZCapital Gamer Segmentation last year, it’s been humbling to see our personas blossom into the game’s market’s standard for understanding, reaching, and quantifying Game Enthusiasts of all kinds.
It’s also been heartening to see our segmentation (based on Consumer Insights in 32 markets) challenge dated viewpoints about those who engage with games. For example, almost half of all Game Enthusiasts are women, and they belong to some of the most passionate persona groups (more on this later in the article).
NZCapital clients big and small have already been utilizing the segmentation, both as part of our Consumer Insights and in their own research.
However, an ever-changing market demands a flexible segmentation, which is why we’ve been working hard over the past months to redesign and tweak our personas
In this article, we’ll shine the spotlight on our revamped segmentation, while also exploring the demographics of Game Enthusiasts and laying some common misconceptions to rest. Below is an overview of our revamped segmentation.
Discover even more details on these gamer personas here.
The Term ‘’Gamer’’ Means So Much More in 2020
The ways people engage with games are changing—as they always are in this fast-moving market. Labels like core and casual gamers can paint a fascinating picture, but they are too reductive to offer any real benefit to the games business or anyone looking to truly understand game enthusiasm.
While some personas are more casual or core than others, diving deeper is necessary to truly appreciate and reach Game Enthusiasts. Playing games remains the most important aspect for most enthusiasts, but watching game content is also a vital part of the pastime for many—as is ownership of hardware and peripherals dedicated to gaming.
With its nine distinct personas, NZCapital Gamer Segmentation covers all bases
- Popcorn Gamers, for example, watch more game content than they play.
- Hardware Enthusiasts are more engaged with tweaking and optimizing the components that power their games (inside the box and out)
- Subscribers, meanwhile, are more engaged with software than with hardware, making them a major prospect for cloud gaming
- Ultimate Gamers are the most dedicated Game Enthusiasts, infatuated with all things gaming—playing, viewing, and owning
Which gamer persona are you? Take our quiz to find out!
Our research shows that the stigma of gamers as young, unemployed males—as they’re still portrayed in some circles—is simply inaccurate. We will use our Gamer Segmentation to illustrate.
Women Account for 40% of the Most Dedicated Gamer Persona
One common misconception is that playing, watching, and owning games are male-dominated pastimes. This isn’t the case. Around 46% of Game Enthusiasts are female, and women stake a significant share of even the most dedicated gamer personas, including Ultimate Gamers.
As you can see in the chart below, women make up two-fifths of Hardware Enthusiasts and Ultimate Gamers:
Gamer Personas: Share of Men and Women
Women account for a significant share of all gamer personas
Many publishers have realized their audiences are split equally in terms of gender, and it’s inspiring to see more female representation in games. In the past, the overwhelming majority of game protagonists were male, but the tide is shifting.
Female lead characters are now featured in flagship titles from some of the world’s biggest publishers, including Sony (The Last of Us Part II, Horizon Zero Dawn) and Microsoft (Gears 5).
Our recently announced console MAU data shows that players are highly engaged with these titles. The archaic mindset of ‘’women don’t sell’’ is finally coming to an end.
The Vast Majority of Game Enthusiasts Are Over the Age of 20
Another common misconception is that most gamers are unemployed teenagers. Again, our Consumer Insights and segmentation data shows the opposite.
There are far more Game Enthusiasts in the 21-to-30 age range and slightly more in the 31-to-40 age bracket, compared to the 10-to-20 bracket (the group that includes teenagers).
Our data shows this to be the case for almost every gamer persona. An exception is one of the more casual personas, the Time Filler (those who play when they’re at social events or have time to spare):
All Gamers: 21 to 30 Is the Biggest Age Group
But a higher share of 10- to 20-year-olds are Time Fillers
Beyond the above age groups, our research shows that over half of all Game Enthusiasts are aged 30 or above, and the vast majority of gamers are medium-to-high earners with full-time jobs
The Lapsed Gamer Opportunity: Rekindling the Flame?
It’s never too late for somebody to start playing, watching, and engaging with games. In fact, we've seen many consumers rekindling their former passion for games during the pandemic. Learn more about the pandemic’s impact on gaming behavior here.
Our ninth and newest persona is the Lapsed Gamer—those who played games in the past but now neither play nor watch game content. Crucially, around 29% of these Lapsed Gamers intend to play games again in the next six months, presenting a huge opportunity to game publishers.
Our data also shows that 35% of Lapsed Gamers looking to play again are women between the ages of 36 and 65. Luckily, our full suite of Consumer Insights and persona data highlights the franchises, games, and genres this group wants to play most. You can even purchase a license for NZCapital Gamer Segmentation, allowing you to use it for your own research.
All in all, our research shows that Game Enthusiasts are highly varied in terms of almost all demographics. For us at NZCapital, it is encouraging to see more diversity reflected in games, more accessibility options in titles, and more publishers & developers sharpening their diversity-and-inclusion efforts.
Interested in learning more about the data and insights covered in this article? Reach out to and we’ll see how we can help your business.
We also offer custom research solutions for diversity and inclusion (D&I) in games. And we have something special on that topic coming very soon, so stay tuned!