When people think of video game records, they rarely think of Canada. But that could soon be about to change. Reports of the highest-paid female gamers in the world indicate that Canada’s own Scarlett (Sasha Hostyn) is paid nearly three times as much as the second highest-paid gamer, cementing her position as the highest-paid female gamer in the world. Could this help signal to more women to get involved with gaming – especially those based in Canada?
The Changing Face of Gaming
Sasha’s success has been precipitated by the changing nature of gaming. The growth of mobile gaming and the development of games that aren’t as stereotypically macho have helped change the demographic and open the doors for a more diverse set of players.
Beginning with Angry Birds for the iPhone and snowballing thereafter, the casual mode of gaming has seen not only women try games they might otherwise have avoided but become some of the most dedicated gamers. This casual gameplay style stuck and helped bring more women forward into gaming.
Casual styles of gameplay have exploded across all forms of entertainment. Mobile gaming, for instance, has seen a huge growth in games that would appeal across genders. The proliferation of games like Candy Crush Saga and those which require no extra equipment to play have helped women who might not otherwise have considered gaming to find gameplay styles that they are suited to. Hyper casual games are among the most downloaded because the puzzle and strategy elements are more appealing to non-traditional gamers.
Other modes of gaming and mobile entertainment have also used the new trend to become more popular and attract a more varied audience. Online casinos, for instance, have diversified their audience through the games on offer and the tie-ins available. For example, there is a Bridesmaids slot game based on the 2011 film, which would be more likely to appeal to a female audience.
It shows a commitment to expanding audiences in general through the form of casual gameplay. When potential players are choosing from a list of Canadian casinos online, they can see which kinds of games might suit this casual format of gameplay. Some of the slots available may be more targeted towards female players, which shows a clear dedication towards attracting a different audience.
Scarlett’s $370K Success
Scarlett’s career began in 2011, when she participated in the NESL Iron Lady, a female specific StarCraft II league. A series of successful campaigns helped springboard her from strength to strength until she was dominating on the world stage. In total, Scarlett has competed in some 205 tournaments. The fact she has earned around $370,000 helps turn the attention of many other budding gamers, especially those who previously thought that the industry was out of their reach.
Women Behind the Scenes
Not only is there a push to get more women in front of the games, but also behind them. Female game developers aren’t as rare as they once were, but there is still a significant way to go before top jobs represent a gender split. Having women behind the scenes could unlock aspects of gaming that male developers might not have considered, but which could be huge obstacles in the way of more women becoming gamers.
Robin Games has recently raised $7 million as a female-led gaming start-up focusing on lifestyle gaming. The games developed would take the gameplay from popular fantasy games across the industry, but give them a sleeker, more refined look, to match some of the luxury lifestyle content found online. The fact the company were able to generate so much seed money shows that not only is this a niche people might be interested in, but also beneficial to the gaming industry in general.
The world of gaming has changed dramatically in the past decade. Not only is it more accessible and more legitimized as an industry, but it is more balanced between male and female players. Even being able to rank female players as high earners in gaming is something that might not have been possible 15 years ago, so the fact they are earning well is promising for the future of gaming – and the future of female gaming specifically.