According to Google Ad Planner, Minecraft.net, main site for the beloved, blocky, 3D sandbox survival game, gets about 7 million unique visitors a month -- no surprise there, with over 26M registered users and 5M paying customers so far. Here's the big surprise: When it comes to Minecraft.net's audience from the US, 58% of them are female. (Screencap above.) When you look at traffic to Minecraft's site from around the world, total female visitors are 43%, which is still a surprising level of relative gender parity for a game that's generally assumed to be overwhelmingly for boys and young men.
I checked these stats with Daniel Kaplan, business developer with Minecraft publisher Mojang -- did these make sense?
Kaplan told me no, pointing to demographic stats for Minecraft's Facebook page, which show a majority of male fans. However, Facebook fan pages only register users who click "Like" on a page, which may skew the usage patterns. And while Alexa (which Daniel referred me to) shows a majority of male visitors, Quantcast shows slightly more female visitors to Minecraft. (And I tend to trust Google stats more than Alexa and Quantcast.)
"Maybe you guys have more female fans than you know?" I asked him.
Daniel answered he didn't know. "But my gut feeling says that it is more guys," He told me.
He's probably right, but at the very least, I think it's fair to say there does seem to be much more interest in Minecraft from girls and women than is generally assumed. Which is an important point to consider. Marketers have been stumbling in their attempts to make toys like LEGO more female-friendly. But if Minecraft, which has no pink ribbons or purple boxes or anything else that would stereotypically attract girls, but is steadfastly about exploring and building and surviving zombies, and can still somehow appeal to them, maybe we need to check our assumptions.