The type of women that play casual games has become a matter of great interest to casual and hard core gaming producers over the past few years. While the gaming industry has typically catered to the male consumer in the traditional PC gaming industry, online games such as MSN Games, actually has a significantly higher female customer base. In fact, over 60% of their online players are women! The majority of the women are players are between 25 to 54 years old, more than half have a household income of over $50, 40% are college-educated and over 60% are married.
Several other online gaming communities also reported that the majority of their subscribers are women including, Stephen Smith of FreshGames who reported that 75% of those who purchase FreshGames games are women and Duncan Magee of RealArcade, who reported that 65% of their users are women, and over 90% of customers (paying buyers) are over the age of 30.
This is a relatively drastic change from the reports taken during the 90's which consisted of mostly younger males making up over 90% of the PC gaming market. Casual games represent a niche with access to an older market with more expendable cash.
Most executives from online game sites estimate that this drastic change of consumer from a predominantly male base to a largely female base is a direct result of the change in the games; which now consist of puzzles, better graphics, brighter colors, and quick-to-start playing ability. They argue that these newer games appeal to the kind of activities and entertainment women look for.
Additionally, the younger gaming crowd of the 1990's is aging, and those younger gamers who played in the 90's are now over 30, and are earning more money and raising families.
While the idea is intriguing that women are overtaking gaming, it doesn't take the entire gamut of online gaming into account. As a demographic, middle-age women make up the largest volume of purchasing of online casual games. However this doesn't take into account the MMOG niche (massively multiplayer online games) such as the ever-popular Warcraft Online World. The later type of gamer is still younger males.