Three young women sit together and play mobile video games.

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Though gaming industries have not historically marketed to women (or always treated women, or even female characters, well), the mobile gaming industry is gaining more and more female players. Indeed, some research suggests that 56% of mobile gamers are now women—debunking myths that women don’t like video games, and broadening a market full of opportunity.

Women 18 and older now outnumber male players under 18 by about 18%, which suggests that mobile gaming is gaining new, wider audiences more quickly than the traditional gaming industry. According to Joe Lazarus, CMO of Backflip Studios, a mobile gaming company, “Women say [mobile gaming] is a stress reliever and a way to clear their minds…a brief break from their hectic day.” There are a lot of opportunities in a day for these kinds of games, meaning that there is a lot of possibility for getting even more women players on board.

If mobile games are quick, easy, and accessible, there is a higher chance of people playing them in general, but mobile games appeal to women especially because “for time-compressed women, many of whom are balancing two jobs – one outside the home and one inside the home as primary caregiver – mobile gaming allows participation on an individual’s own schedule,” says Forbes.

Some companies are now marketing mobile games directly to women, like CrowdStar’s “Covet Fashion,” a now-widespread fashion game that allows players to dress characters and engage with community via voting and feedback. In the process of creating the game, CrowdStar’s chief executive Jeff Tseng says that he had to “unlearn” everything he knew about gaming. “Covet Fashion” has a target audience of older women, and the game has realistic graphics rather than cartoon-like ones. There’s a huge amount of content available in the game with more being added every day; about 300,000 looks are submitted for every fashion event in the game. There are plans to expand the game to make it an even better experience.

Tseng is doing something right. CrowdStar is looking to make more games aimed directly at women, and if the success of “Covet Fashion” tells us anything, it’s that the market of women players holds a lot of untapped gaming potential.