New data suggests that females are playing mobile games at a higher frequency than males in the US.
According to a July 2017 survey of US mobile gamers by agency Jun Group, 60% of female respondents said they played mobile games on a daily basis, compared with less than half of males.
However, other research suggests that men play games on mobile devices more often than women do. A Fluent study of US smartphone users from January reported that 36% of men played a mobile game “often” or more frequently, compared with 27% of women.
That difference might be explained by the fact that the Jun Group and Fluent studies examined different survey groups, with Jun focusing on mobile gamers specifically, while Fluent looked at smartphone users overall.
Jun Group’s survey also found that a slightly higher percentage of females (37%) named games as their favorite type of mobile app than did males (35%).
So why the preference for gaming among women? A plurality of female respondents, 37%, told Jun Group that they played mobile games because they found them relaxing. That was more than the number who played primarily to pass the time (32%), or because they found them fun or exciting (21%).
Other research supports the idea that women find mobile games more indispensable than men. A poll of US internet users conducted by marketing research firm AudienceProject in the first half of 2017 asked respondents to name three apps they could not do without. While 6% of women named Candy Crush Saga, games were completely absent from the top 10 list of essential apps for men.
Candy Crush’s favored position among women may not come as a huge surprise. According to Newzoo, the red-hot game generated more revenues than any other game on Apple’s iOS in the US in July 2017, a reflection of its widespread popularity.
eMarketer projects that there will be 121.4 million smartphone gamers in the US this year, with 37.2% of the population playing a game via smartphone at least monthly.