The gaming market lags behind in diverse representation, both in the player base and in the games themselves, with women, people of colour, the LGBTQIA+ community and those with disabilities often overlooked.

This is among the findings in a report from Intel and Newzoo, “Diversity and Inclusion in Gaming”, which identifies industry gaps and key insights in an effort to help make gaming more accessible and inclusive.

“To strengthen diversity and inclusion across the gaming space, the industry needs to listen and act on the needs of its diverse gaming audience, as well as make hardware and software more affordable and accessible,” says Marcus Kennedy, GM of Intel’s Gaming and Esports Segment.

“As part of Intel’s desire to better understand its global customer base, Intel is taking key learnings from this report and shaping current internal and external programs to better serve gamers from all backgrounds and walks of life.”

Newzoo, a provider of games and esports analytics, independently conducted a survey of 1 824 individuals in the between the ages of 10 and 65 who self-identified as gamers.

Key insights from the study include:

* Diversity and inclusion in games matters to a diverse audience. Forty-seven percent of gamers don’t play games they feel are not made for them. This represents a massive — and missed — opportunity for publishers and developers to meet those needs. Video games with more diverse characters appeal to a broader group of gamers and tend to increase a gaming genre’s or franchise’s popularity across a wider audience.

* Accessibility and affordability will be key to strengthening diversity and inclusion in gaming. While accessibility options in gaming are getting better, there is still room for improvement. One of the opportunities for hardware and software producers is catering more to people in lower socioeconomic categories who are excluded from premium-priced products. The importance of accessibility becomes clearer when looking at the popularity of game library subscriptions, which are especially popular among people of colour.

* Gamers want companies to take a stance. According to the survey, over half of gamers feel brands should take an active stance on societal issues, irrespective of the respondent’s race, gender identity or sexual orientation, or whether the respondent has a disability. Sitting on the fence for certain issues may seem like the safer option for companies but taking an active stance may lead to increased engagement and revenue among the diverse gaming audience.

* Why It Matters: By 2022, there will be around 2,7-billion gamers in the world, and Intel is constantly looking at how to best serve this vast and diverse gaming community. Intel believes sharing these important insights can result in better products industrywide and inform efforts to elevate gamers in underrepresented communities.