In 2001, women and girls constituted just 12% of video gamers; now, fully 40% of game players are female, and the gaming industry has taken notice. EA, Sony, Nintendo, and several other companies are rolling out new products catering to girls, from a dancing game to a Hannah Montana adventure packaged with a lilac PSP. Where only a few years ago girls' games were considered marginal, now they're a key component of publishers' strategies, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Ubisoft was one of the first gaming companies to target girls; in 2005 it introduced Petz, a pet simulation game that's gone on to sell 19 million copies. EA now has a similar game, Littlest Pet Shop, while other makers are concentrating on Wii-style games involving physical fitness. But not all the market's growth has come from female-targeted games—mass market titles like Guitar Hero are doing well among both women and men.