Esports Marketing Gender Development Bias | Morgan Romine

Morgan Romine Dir. of Initiatives at AnyKey talks with Mark Register about Esports marketing

Mark Register – Are there any Esports titles that are marketed for unisex or females specifically?

Morgan Romine – So that’s important to differentiate the marketing and whether the marketing is targeted because that’s a pretty different group, the marketers are a pretty separate group usually than the developers and the people making the game and who are they envisioning as their player.

I wouldn’t say that most of these developers are doing it one way or another, they just want people to have fun for the most part.

However they usually imagine players to be like themselves and if you’re putting yourself in the position of a player, you’re doing it through your own perspective and your own experience with games.

This is something that I saw a lot in my dissertation is that you frequently as a designer, you have to put yourself in the perspective of your anticipated player.

Where you’re like ok if they’re going to be coming around this corner and they’re carrying this weapon what are they going to see and what’s their engagement going to be like?

So they’re having to put themselves into that position.

So the fact that the great majority of AAA game developers happen to be male means you get a little bit of that overlap.

So they’re imagining that they player is going to be male sort of by default.

Not as some sort of malicious, exclusive thing that’s just, they’re putting themselves in the position of the player and so the player ends up taking on some of their traits.

It helps us to look at the communities, see where the women are playing these games.

I think we see a lot of women playing League of Legends, I mean we see lots of people playing League of Legends, they are upward of the thirty million…they’re probably way past that.

So of those 30+ million there’s a large chunk of those that are women.

We don’t have those specific statistics but you can just go to an LCS event and you can see that there are a lot of women who are there that are really excited about the game and into the game and that can follow it.

I think it’s a longer conversation to ask, why is League of Legends more popular among women.

But there seems to be a lot of potential there.

Hearthstone, Heroes, a lot of these Blizzard titles you get some of that good carry over from World of Warcraft where you got to see a diverse group of players playing World of Warcraft which was sort of a gateway for a lot of other Blizzard titles and I hope that they are benefiting that way.

Otherwise it’s hard to say, I haven’t seen these games marketed, I don’t know where Rocket League is being marketed for example, but the places where it’s being marketed indicates their target audience.

That’s the place to look if you’re asking those questions, and as a researcher that’s how I’m thinking, how can we answer those questions, because this data doesn’t really exist.

That’s one of the things that we’ve discovered, when we started the AnyKey organization we said, let’s look at the data!

Hum…there is no data we can’t find it, so we’re going to have to make it ourselves.

So that’s one of the things we’ll be looking at is what games have more women playing them and why maybe.

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