Battle of the sexes: men the fairer sex when it comes to patience with online gaming

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Over a quarter (26%) of women are unlikely to return to a glitchy online game, compared to just 17% of men; latest innovations in gaming bring high expectations for performance and user experience

LONDON, UK – 22 July 2014Interxion (NYSE: INXN) - Gaming has stereotypically been perceived as a male pastime reserved for geeks, nerds and Football Manager fanatics looking to while away the hours on a rainy Sunday afternoon. But times have changed; both women and men are now competing alongside one another on the virtual battlefield. And it looks as if women are more demanding than their male counterparts when it comes to the performance of their favourite online games and apps. According to new research from Interxion, female gamers are less patient than male gamers; 26% of women are unlikely to return to an online gaming site after a glitch or crash, compared to 17% of men.

Traditionally female gamers have represented a minority within the wider gaming community. However, according to a 2013 study by the Entertainment Software Association, 45% of game players last year were female. This rise could be down in part to the appearance of more female protagonists, female options for the main characters, more powerful storylines and the recent ‘filmification’ of role-playing and adventure games attracting a wider demographic.

Not only are men seemingly more patient when it comes to waiting for an online game to recover from a glitch, crash or installation update, they are also more likely to play with fellow gamers across the globe. When asked how interested they were in gaming with people they don’t know in other countries, 62% of male respondents claimed to already play massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) with fellow enthusiasts outside of the UK. This is compared to under half of women (47%) who prefer to socialise virtually with people they know.

The research also found that:

  • Gamers in South-West, Yorkshire and Scotland are most sociable: 65% of gamers in South-West England, 62% in Yorkshire and 59% in Scotland are the most likely to play MMOGs with people in other countries.
  • Time is of the essence: 33% of 21st century online gamers are only willing to wait one minute for an online game to recover from a glitch, update or crash – regardless of the platform being used (PC, laptop, mobile, console or tablet).
  • Mobile gamers are the most impatient: 15% of mobile gamers weren’t willing to wait at all for a game to reboot, turning it off if an issue arose. On the contrary, PC users were more accepting – 18% would wait indefinitely for their game to come back online, indicating a stark difference in patience between mobile and PC users and performance expectations associated with different platforms.

So what does this mean for those working in the gaming industry? In an already-lucrative sector, game and console developers stand to reap the benefits as a wider subsection of society tries their luck at the latest Candy Crush Saga app or online role playing game. The flip side of this increased demand is the need to deliver a quick, smooth and enjoyable interaction with the game of choice. And without the right infrastructure in place, gaming providers will quickly go from hero to zero.

As seen at the latest E3 show in LA, the realms of possibility for the gaming industry have been well and truly tried and tested this year, as new innovations such as Oculus Rift, virtual reality and high-definition games continue to excite and thrill enthusiasts,” said Julian Wheeler, Strategy & Marketing Director at Interxion.” 

As demand from consumers increases, user experience will ultimately make or break a game’s success. In a time-poor, always-on world, our research shows that while the appetite for online gaming has grown, tolerance for poor connectivity, glitches and constant buffering is less welcome than ever before. The key for industry professionals will be to anticipate demand and ensure the right technology infrastructure is in place to deliver a seamless experience to gamers, regardless of their device and location.

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Notes to editors

Commissioned by Interxion, Opinion Matters surveyed 500 UK adults in April 2014 from the gaming, IT and digital media industries (250 UK gamers, 125 digital media professionals, 125 IT professionals).

About Interxion

Interxion (NYSE: INXN) is a leading provider of cloud and carrier-neutral colocation data centre services in Europe, serving a wide range of customers through 37 data centres in 11 European countries.  Interxion’s uniformly designed, energy-efficient data centres offer customers extensive security and uptime for their mission-critical applications. With more than 500 Connectivity providers and 20 European Internet exchanges, Interxion has created cloud, content, finance and connectivity hubs that foster growing customer communities of interest. For more information, please visit www.interxion.com.

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