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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : April 20, 2016

eSports: Not just about guys

A new report from PwC suggests that in the burgeoning new arena of eSports, the percentage of women involved is slightly higher than men.

by Helen Leggatt

A study by Frank N. Magid Associates last year found that, of the nearly 70% of Americans between the ages of 8 to 64 that play videogames, 18% have watched eSports online or attended a live event, a growth rate of 100% compared to 2013.

But are those involved in eSports more likely to be men or women? A surprising finding of a new report from PwC, who has dedicated it's latest Consumer Intelligence report on the topic of eSports, is that 22% of women surveyed said they are "involved in eSports" compared to 18% of men.

According to Cinnamon Booth, COO of GameCo Inc., "For success in eSports, it's critical to recognize that today's 'average' gamer is not the stereotype of a male teen in their parents' basement".

While the gender difference in eSports involvement isn't that great, the gap widens when it comes to the reasons for watching eSports. For men, they seem to be watching "from a competitive lens", says PwC's report, "they not only enjoy watching their favorite games being played at the highest level, but they also watch competitions to improve their own game". Women, on the other hand, seem to watch more for enjoyment and for the social aspect of competitions.

PwC's report, 'The burgeoning evolution of eSports: From the fringes to front and center', is bursting with facts and figures about eSports, including who is playing, what they're playing and why they're playing. It can be viewed online, free of charge.

Recent research from The NPD Group contains some good news for games marketers. Their survey of 1,722 people in February of this year found that more than two-thirds (69%) of eSports viewers have purchased a game after watching it being played in an eSports event.

However, the reverse is also true with two-thirds of those watching eSports already playing the game they are watching. In fact, the report suggests that eSports viewers watch an event based not on the prize money or the size of a tournament, but on which games they enjoy the most.

Tags: eSports, gaming, gender, marketing, technology, trends

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