Fnatic released its Gender Equality report on International Women’s Day which highlights the disparity between genders in the esports and gaming industry. The growth of the gaming industry over the years also led to growth in audience and we are close to having an even male/female split globally. The gaming audience is projected to be at approximately 2.7 billion with 46% of the gaming population identifying as female. The growth rate of female gamers in Asia makes it the fastest-growing region, expanding faster than male audiences. The highest percentage of the world’s total gaming revenue comes from Asia, with 38% of the 1.3b Asian gaming population identifying as female.
Valorant Is the Biggest Esports Title for Female Streamers
Fnatic reported the most popular categories of top-10 female streamers and Valorant came out as the number one esports title. The Just Chatting section on Twitch and Among Us are ahead of Valorant with 10.4 million and 4.2 million hours watched respectively. Valorant in comparison has 1.5 million hours watched with Apex Legends trailing behind closely at 1.4 million hours watched.
How Women Are Becoming More Recognized in Gaming
Female protagonists featured in games grew from 5% in 2019 to 18% in 2020 which is a big increase over the past decade. In 2020 the top 10 male streamers have 860m combined hours watched on Twitch while the top 10 female streamers accumulated 130m combined hours watched on Twitch. However, Pokimane stands as an exception in this statistic. The popular female streamer currently ranks 7th. In contrast, 15 of the top 20 Instagram accounts feature women.
According to the report, men dominate the upper echelons of the global entertainment industry with esports being no exception. At the lowest levels of media and entertainment, women get ahead: they are promoted at twice the rate of men. Women hold only 27% of C-suite positions in the sector.
Around A Billion Women Play Video Games
In relation to the global entertainment industry, gaming is the dominant player - global gaming revenues are almost double that of movies, and around a billion women play games. According to Fnatic “gender imbalances impact the content created by the industry, the likelihood that women will feature in decision-making roles, and the possibility that women can build a career in the industry.”
Fnatic revealed in its report that gaming needs a cultural shift. The report states “A firmer hand may be required to tackle problems where female creators are challenged with toxicity and sexually inappropriate behaviour towards them on stream or commented on in their content. By taking a proactive role in creating a community which is secure and trustworthy, female creators can be more comfortable to be themselves.”