Female gamers are on a steady rise in Asia as recent research indicates the number of so-called "gamer girls" are increasing at a faster rate than their male rivals. Majority of these console divas come from China, Japan and India, as they level the playing fields from key markets. Asia is considered to be the global epicentre of the gaming industry with a captured market revenue accounting for 48% of the world's gate earnings for video games.
According to Google data, the female gaming population grew by 19% in 2019 tipping the charts at 1.33 billion users from 1.13 billion in 2017. China leads the female pack with 45% market share while South Korea, Japan and the rest of Southeast Asia make up a total 40%.
Several factors contribute to this upsurge. The use of mobile phones has made gaming even more accessible for female gaming enthusiasts as they enjoy the flexibility, mobility and freedom that mobile phones provide compared to video consoles and controllers. Internet-enabled devices such as mobile phones and tablets are now considered a basic commodity for many Asian countries.
The gaming industry has become a lucrative source of income for game makers as well as mobile app developers. But little did everyone know that competitive online gaming can bring top money to female e-sports contenders through a profitable mix of sponsorships, endorsements and of course prize money. These gaming femme fatales earn up to £16 million as hordes of followers who watch them play via online streaming have hailed them as heavy influencers. Female teams are not one to mess with during organised league events in Southeast Asia, as these gamer girls make a huge impact in global Female Esports.
Former professional gamer and Kuala Lumpur based Filipino vlogger Reia Ayunan says she was into Battle Royal and dedicated about 6 hours a day immersed in Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games ( MMORPG ). She rakes in an estimated £ 2,300 a month mainly gained from sponsors. As of this time, she has shifted her gaming skills into producing gaming content for Ubisoft where she aims to lure in more female players.
However, not all is rosy for gamer girls as they are more open to harassment online compared to their male contenders."I was turned into memes and was a victim of sexual harassment online. Once you go public and you get noticed there will always be people hating on you, finding faults and mistakes. The gaming community can be very toxic," Ayunan recalls.