The New Video Gamer Is a Chick

Females now constitute 40% of players
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2009 8:23 AM CDT
Teen pop stars Aly & AJ play with the newest Littlest Pet Shop video game from EA and Hasbro while appearing at the Hasbro booth at Toy Wishes Holiday Preview in New York, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008.    (AP Photo/Ray Stubblebine, Hasbro)
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(Newser) – 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.