Zynga: Your mom is the new 'hardcore gamer'

Forty-year-old women are the demographic that spends the most money and time on Zynga games, according to head of brand advertising Manny Aneka. This marks the end of the stereotypical image of dedicated gamers as young men, and the beginning of thinking of them as older women.

Aneka, who spoke at South by South-West (SXSW), the annual music, film, and interactive conference and festival held in Austin, said that the average Zynga gamer plays for 68 minutes a day, and with more women playing then men, a 40-year old woman is the “new hardcore gamer.”

Aneka cited Cityville, which has over 100 million players, as an example. He claimed that Zynga is changing the 'gaming landscape.'

[Source: WebProNews]

Mar 15, 2011

Got a news tip? Let us know at


  • amps225 - March 16, 2011 10:14 p.m.

    68 hours...WOW thats like more than an hour that they could have started playing a decent game like say most mario games. I play 2 hours a day just on the original smash bros.
  • jmcgrotty - March 16, 2011 10:12 a.m.

    While I will not comment on the point of this article (OK, I will: It's bullshit. Who cares what Zynga thinks? Pogs were huge once, too), I am sick of the whole term "hardcore" when talking about gamers in the first place. Like labeling yourself that says anything about you that you would want to admit to. It's an insult made about gamers that some naive gamers took over and made their own term in a misguided attempt of acceptance. Hardcore gamer? No, you're a gamer. Casual gamer? No, you're a gamer. Quit with the fucking different levels of dedication that you think the terms define you as having. You just look like a douche. As I do, for having to point out this obvious point.
  • ombranox - March 16, 2011 7:19 a.m.

    Hatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehate Seriously, I hate these guys. And FoxDenRacing rose some very good and eloquent points.
  • ericeman - March 16, 2011 5:56 a.m.

    TheMole's post says it best: "These "casual" studios, specifically Rovio and Zynga, move a few units and act like they're driving the industry. It's just incredibly obnoxious when they throw these buzzwords around and act like they've created masterpieces." It's less about that admittedly stupid terminology than it is about companies who think sales figures are a measure of quality. They're smart executives these guys but for all these articles about industry shakeups- Farmville can never compare to the satisfaction you get from a great Zelda game.
  • Xtra_Tasty - March 15, 2011 11:31 p.m.

    after fully reading foxdens post i guess i can consider myself a lil more hardcore. Gamer for life. since Atari son an when i have kids. they gunna be on my lap on the mike talkin trash while i pwn. so people think its a kid an start crying.
  • Xtra_Tasty - March 15, 2011 11:26 p.m.

    Farmville is as far from hardcore as The Emperor from Star Wars is from the light side. That being said. i consider myself somewhere in the middle. I play a ton o games. none of them on facebook. i have a 360 easy is for girls and ur lil brother. so is medium i beat halos ass on legendary. check the gamercard sames as my name whitout the _ just a space. ok im done that lady is not hard core playing bout an hours worth of point an click. FoxDen has good points.
  • Weirdjedi - March 15, 2011 10:05 p.m.

    I can see the appeal in some of these games. You work a little, obtain a small reward, you work a little more... The problem is the distinction between the term 'hardcore' and 'casual'. Do we relate the terms to your attitude around people? amount of time played? knowledge of the lore or details of the game? the statistics or strategies involved the elements? how long you have been playing the game over time? all of the above? Honestly, I think hardcore revolves around your ego. If people begin to dislike you, then perhaps you are too hardcore. If people barely notice you, then you might be casual.
  • DannyMB - March 15, 2011 9:39 p.m.

    @FoxdenRacing What a great post. I wish half the stuff i read on forums was this insightful and eloquent. I'd never really considered myself a hardcore gaming, but after your definition I think I fit in quite nicely! Rovio were at this the other day too. I don't understand why mobile game developers think their work will kill off or transform traditional gaming. Yes they have found a very successful formula, which makes them a lot of money and im sure "traditional" game publishers are looking at ways of incorporating similar practice into "traditional", "core" games. The mobile games industry isn't changing who plays games, its just expanding the number of people who do.
  • Imgema - March 15, 2011 8:55 p.m.

    @FoxdenRacing As a hardcore gamer i appreciate your post.
  • db1331 - March 15, 2011 8:26 p.m.

    Let's not confuse "hardcore gamer" with "person who is dumb enough to spend real money on virtual chickens." @LTS That's ALMOST hardcore. I would add "Build a gaming machine with your own hands so you get better performance than you would from the pre-built ones they sell in stores" to the list.
  • FoxdenRacing - March 15, 2011 8:15 p.m.

    @TheMole: Good distinction! Power-gaming to me is going on long benders, whereas Hardcore is gaming as a lifestyle. Unfortunately powergaming also does double-duty as a term for twinking...finding/abusing glitches, finding the statistically best combination of items, etc. So many terms, so little time.
  • TheMole - March 15, 2011 7:58 p.m.

    I remember the days when power-gaming and a hardcore gamer were synonymous with one another, now anyone who plays a game more than an hour a day is classified as a hardcore gamer. These "casual" studios, specifically Rovio and Zynga, move a few units and act like they're driving the industry. It's just incredibly obnoxious when they throw these buzzwords around and act like they've created masterpieces.
  • FoxdenRacing - March 15, 2011 7:57 p.m.

    I call bull. Scott Pilgrim is hardcore. Most of the GR editors are hardcore. Foul-mouthed teabagging preteens are not, no matter how badly they want to be. Your mom is not, no matter how much money Zygna makes off her. "Hardcore" is not a notion of time spent each night, or dedication to a single genre. "Hardcore" is not popularity, or money spent on special editions. "Hardcore" is not fanboyism, or a dedication to an M rating. The hardcore gamer is one where gaming is his or her passion...not their hobby. Hardcore gamers are the few, the proud, the lifelong. Hardcore gamers would be that way whether gaming was "cool" or not. Hardcore gamers know the history of the industry, the basics of how the industry operates, and the habits of major players. Hardcore gamers play for the enjoyment of playing...and if the game is ripe for it, to attain mastery over their domain...not to enlarge their e-peen points or follow a trend. A hardcore gamer doesn't have their masculinity threatened by Lego Star Wars, Pokemon, or Viva Pinata, and can see past the candy-coated exteriors [pun not intended] to the masterful games beneath. A hardcore gamer appreciates retro and every genre, even ones that aren't their cup of tea. A hardcore gamer isn't afraid to branch out to new genres or franchises, regardless of adrenaline content. A hardcore gamer knows the difference between dumbed-down and approachable. A hardcore gamer is not so blinded by loyalty that they cannot admit the faults of their chosen son. A hardcore gamer is not afraid to hold their favorite industry players' feet to the fire. In short, hardcore gaming isn't a status to be worked towards or earned, it's a lifestyle, a wisdom to be settled into; a hardcore gamer is one whose very existence is permeated by games...not dominated by them, not defined by them, but influenced by them at seemingly every turn. Just the two cents of a crusty old controller curmudgeon.
  • BlankBrush - March 15, 2011 7:52 p.m.

    Zygna is an abomination onto gaming. ANYONE who plays their games needs to be swiftly removed from them, and re-educated on what real games are, lest they start to believe they are, as this jackass claims, "Hardcore Gamers."
  • LTS - March 15, 2011 7:49 p.m.

    If you obsessively play casual games, your not a 'hardcore gamer' Come back to me when you have done one of the following: 1. Created a 100 page notebook listing every Pokemon type's weakness & strength 2. Beaten every Final Fantasy 3. Made sense of Metal Gear Solid 4 4. Spent $900 on batteries for your GameGear just so you could play Sonic while onst the way to Grandmother's house. 5. Have a 'controller drawer' that's full
  • Hobojedi - March 15, 2011 7:21 p.m.

    But if my mom is a hardcore gamer, then why does she hate Dead Space 2?
  • Memph - March 15, 2011 7:17 p.m.

    Total PC Gaming (piss-poorly written magazine all in all compared to Gamer and Zone) did an article on 'hardcore housewife gamers' a good few years back, pointing to peggle and bejeweled and it was as much complete bollocks then as it is now.
  • MancisFrorkYorgan - March 15, 2011 7:16 p.m.

    I usually hate the term 'hardcore', but there is nothing about Farmville - or, for that matter, Zynga - which I would class as hardcore.
  • shadowreaper72 - March 15, 2011 7:11 p.m.

    Well I guess theres a lot of mindless mothers who obviously have nothing else more productive of their time to do. If they want to play a game play an actual game like Super Mario Bros on the wii or something, not this abomination that people dare call it a game. ITS NOT!!!!
  • AlphaAGENT144 - March 15, 2011 6:56 p.m.

    Zynga isnt changing the gaming landscape because those aren't games, they're boredom simulators and time wasters gg no re

Showing 1-20 of 20 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000