The unsurprising reality is that everyone plays games today. Your mom is *still* playing Candy Crush, your dad is losing at some card game on his phone and your young cousin is singing along to Dumb Ways to Die. Yet, there still seems to be a false assumption to what “gamer” really means.
It is safe to assume that the word “gamer” triggers an image of a lazy guy, potentially in an untidy attire and in desperate need for grooming. Oh, and they are definitely geeks of some sort—emphasis on “guy.”
…And just like any other stereotype, it’s all a myth. Allow us to debunk some myths concerning female gamers in the Middle East!
Myth 1: Females Don’t Like to Play Games
We’ll let the statistics speak on our behalf. A recent study as part of the “Under the Microscope” series—conducted by mobile ads firm AdColony and research group On Device—reveals that the number of female gamers is almost equal to male gamers in the Middle East. In Saudi Arabia in specific, the number of female gamers (90%) even exceeds that of male gamers (83%).
So, yes. Female gamers exist in big numbers, although they might not be publicly calling themselves gamers.
Myth 2: Female Gamers Don’t Play “Real” Games
This ties back to the definition of “gamer”. A gamer is a person who plays games—irrelevant of the genre or the medium. Somebody who plays games on their smartphone is not less of a gamer than one who plays on a console. In fact, the gap between console and mobile is continuously being bridged by ever-evolving technologies at rapid-fire speeds.
So the question that remains, what is a “real” game anyway? If you still don’t believe that females don’t play real games, ask Dina our Associate Product Manager.
Myth 3: Female Gamers Cannot Compete with Male Gamers
Hala Sherif, known as EgyGirlGamer on YouTube, is the first Egyptian female gamer to run her gaming channel on the famous platform. Activision held a private launch in London for their game, Call of Duty Modern Warfare, inviting 25 gamers from around the world. Call of Duty is a shooting game that is typically marketed towards males, yet Hala was chosen as the only Arab and female gamer to attend.
Hala is only one example of well-known female gamers in the region, but she’s enough to bust this myth.
Myth 4: Females Have Only Started Playing Games Recently
The idea that gaming is a “guy-thing” did not always exist. In its early days, video games were marketed as family-friendly without specifying any genders. It was only after some companies have gone through tough times financially that they decided to create games for boys and market them that way. However, females in the Middle East have been saving Princess Peach from Bowser, building mansions in The Sims, speed running with Sonic since games emerged on the scene.
Myth 5: Money is Where the Male Gamers Are
The gaming industry is still at its infancy in the region, but it’s also the fastest growing. By overlooking half of the market, you’re losing a big portion of the potential audience. As a developer and a game-maker, taking female gamers in the Middle East into consideration is not really an option. Following a holistic approach to making your game, you ensure that no segment is left out. Here at Tamatem, we understand the market and its different segments, helping you to bring your game to region at maximum potential exposure.