Women In Gaming: The State of Play, Xsolla Quarterly Report 2024, Winter Edition

In this volume of The Xsolla Report, experts explore the growing influence of women in gaming. 

  • There has been a significant rise in women gamers, constituting approximately 48% of players worldwide in 2022. Despite this growing interest, women's representation in the corporate sphere of the gaming industry remains limited, with only 30% holding gaming industry professional roles and a mere 16% occupying executive positions within the top fourteen global gaming companies
  • The share of women game developers has seen a significant increase from 21% in 2017 to 30% in 2021. According to a game developer survey conducted in 2021, the landscape of the gaming industry reflects a shifting gender dynamic, with 61% of game developers identified as men, 30% as women, and approximately 8% choosing not to identify as either. (Source: Statista
  • Beyond gaming statistics, there is a notable surge in the representation of iconic and determined women in both AAA titles and Indie games, contributing to a more inclusive gaming environment. From characters like Lara Croft (Tomb Raider) and Lenneth (Valkyrie Profile) to Jaina Proudmoore (World of Warcraft) and Tifa Lockhart (Final Fantasy), these strong characters serve as positive role models, shaping a more diverse and empowering narrative within the gaming landscape.
  • There is a positive trend towards greater gender diversity in the field, and the influence of women in the gaming industry is exemplified by notable figures like Jade Raymond, recognized for her contributions to the Assassin's Creed series and as the founder of Ubisoft Toronto; and Christina Norman, the Studio Director at Riot Games with involvement in League of Legends.

Power Players: A Spotlight On Women In The Games Industry

The conversation around diversity, equity, and inclusion has become increasingly central to the evolution and transformation of the games industry.

Jordan Fragen, an author for GamesBeat at VentureBeat

Xsolla: How has the representation of women in the gaming industry evolved over the years?

There's a way to look at it from industry and personal perspectives. From my experience, there are a lot of people who are very welcoming to women. I think that there's been a lot more focus from a business perspective on outreach to women who are gamers as gaming becomes part of mainstream culture. And I think that's a wonderful thing.


We're seeing lots of adaptations of games into film and TV projects; likewise, we're seeing lots of brands jump into the game space. There are a lot of brands that have also been reaching out to audiences beyond what people think of as the stereotypical gamer. And there are a lot of brands who realize that there's a big audience of women who play games and that it’s a great demographic to try to reach through games or advertising campaigns.

Xsolla: What are some of the most significant barriers women still face in the gaming industry today?

Jordan Fragen: I think there are many preconceived notions about the games industry that people have on whether it's welcoming to women or not. It's encouraging to see more qualified women in executive positions. 

In my experience, having industry-experienced mentors makes it easier to address unique challenges women face in gaming – whether that's professional advice or just talking about what it's like to be a woman in games. And as the years go by, we're going to see women who have advanced their careers in the industry, and that’s going to contribute to a cultural change in a way that constructs an environment that helps women succeed and reduces barriers for them to achieve that success.

Xsolla: What can be done to encourage more diversity and inclusion within the gaming industry?

Jordan FragenI truly believe that those who have a genuine love for games will thrive in this industry. To make the workforce as inclusive and diverse as possible, it's crucial that those entering the field are driven by their passion for the medium and can connect with others over that shared love. Working in games, I've always appreciated the common ground we all have, even if we don't play the same titles. There's a universal understanding of what it's like to be a gamer that creates a unique bond. 


Building healthy relationships in the workforce is about finding commonalities, whether through shared experiences or hobbies, and this holds true across industries. The games industry is fortunate in that nearly everyone is a gamer, and fostering a safer and more inclusive environment comes down to nurturing those relationships and those experiences. 

The Representation Of Women In The Video Game Industry

The gaming industry has witnessed a significant surge in female gamers, who constituted about 50% of the gaming audience in the US in 2023. This surge in female gamers is not only a testament to the industry's broad appeal but also highlights the increasing spending power held by women. 


Beyond the principles of inclusivity and fairness, the inclusion of women in gaming brings about several significant advantages that contribute to the industry's growth, innovation, and overall health.

Aisyah Ambok, Women in Games WIGJ Ambassador/Leadership team

Even though there is female presence in the SEA video game industry, I would like to see the conditions improve, and the region's games industry become safer for women and other marginalized gender identities. There are still less women in leadership positions in game development in Asia. Leadership and decision-making positions in local games companies still tend to be predominantly male.


Other regions such as Europe might be a bit better off in terms of the presence of women in leadership positions in the gaming industry. I read a study done by 20-First in 2020 that revealed Western companies rank highly when analyzed for gender balance in leadership positions in the digital area, whereas Asian countries rank low due to patriarchal society and work environments.


A lot of people, and young women specifically, probably aren’t aware that they can work in the game industry. When they study at school, they are put under a lot of pressure from their parents to pursue well-paying, traditional jobs like becoming doctors, bankers or engineers. I think it’s important to create awareness, and maybe reach out to kids in schools and help parents understand that game development is a really lucrative industry that people can build a stable career in.

Broader market appeal. With women constituting almost half of the gaming market and over half of the global population, their inclusion in the gaming industry is not just a matter of representation but a strategic move to tap into a significant consumer base. Game developers who understand and cater to the preferences of female gamers gain a competitive edge, as diverse gaming experiences attract a broader audience, ultimately expanding the market and increasing revenue potential.

Informed game development. Having women actively involved in the development process provides valuable insights into the preferences and behaviors of female gamers. This understanding is crucial for creating games that resonate with women, considering their distinct reasons for engaging in gaming. In countries like France, where studies reveal that women predominantly play games for competition or self-challenge, incorporating these insights ensures that games are tailored to meet the specific needs and desires of the target audience.

Revenue potential. The unique reasons drawing women to gaming provide valuable insights for game developers. Including women in the development process is crucial for industry inclusivity and unlocking the revenue potential of this growing customer base. 

To read the full version of this report, follow the link below to download. 

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