General Industry Update

Insights from the recent Global Gamer Study reveal that 72% of women engage in video gaming, compared to 81% of men, with women making up 45% of the overall gaming population. These statistics suggest a strong female presence in gaming, challenging stereotypes and signalling the importance of understanding female gamers’ preferences and experiences.

The study indicates a nuanced relationship between women and gaming. While fewer women identify strictly as gamers compared to men, a significant portion (44%) see themselves as casual gamers. This distinction underscores the diverse ways in which women engage with gaming, from mobile-only play (preferred by 44% of female gamers) to those who identify as core gamers, especially on console and PC platforms (less than 25%). The data also highlights the importance of diversity in video game content, with a majority of both women and men gamers valuing representation within games.

Reflecting this shift towards inclusivity, there has been an increase in female protagonists and narratives within video games in recent years, including the introduction of female leagues and athletes in sports games. This evolving landscape suggests a gaming industry increasingly attentive to its diverse audience, striving for inclusivity and representation.¹

And speaking of sports games, new stats from last year reveal that (perhaps not surprisingly) the top video game in Europe by revenue was the soccer video game “EA Sports FC 24.” The Electronic Arts offering (held by the Fund) was the top revenue earner in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK for 2023. The second-highest earner was also an EA title, “FIFA 23,” which will be the final game in the series to feature the FIFA brand.²

Company Specific Updates

Krafton Inc

South Korea’s gaming giant, Krafton Inc., announced plans for a strategic expansion this year through significant mergers and acquisitions and the development of new franchises based on its blockbuster PUBG intellectual property. The plans for diversification span beyond gaming and into the entertainment and software sectors. This initiative follows Krafton’s notable $45 million investment in Pratilipi, an Indian web novel platform, in 2021, showcasing its ambition for broader investment horizons.

Recently, Krafton pledged $570 million for game development and external game production studios, signalling its commitment to fostering innovative gaming experiences. Central to its strategy is the franchising of PUBG, aiming to create a sustainable gaming ecosystem that could extend the game’s life span by decades through collaborations with external studios.

In addition to leveraging generative AI technology in new games like InZoi, a life simulator game, Krafton is focusing on the burgeoning Indian market. The company aims to capitalize on India’s gaming market potential by introducing localized games and has already established partnerships, such as with DevSisters Corp., to publish “Cookie Run” in India. With plans to invest $150 million in India over the next few years, Krafton is positioning itself as a key player in one of Asia’s most rapidly growing mobile gaming markets, marking a significant return to India.³

Konami Digital Entertainment

In March, Konami Digital Entertainment (held by the Fund) announced that Shoma Mori of Team Japan clinched the title of inaugural world champion at the WBSC eBASEBALL™ Series World Finals. The event, sponsored by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) and leveraging Konami’s WBSC-licensed game “WBSC eBASEBALL™ Power Pros,” attracted over 15,000 participants worldwide. Mori triumphed in the finals, held at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, defeating fellow Japanese player Takato Fujishima with a decisive 8-1 victory.

Looking ahead, the ePremier12™, another global tournament using “WBSC eBASEBALL™ Power Pros,” is slated for November, with the finals at Tokyo Dome. Konami aims to continue fostering the growth of esports fans globally through such events.⁴

HERO ETF: Diversified Investing in Video Games

Interested in a diversified approach to investing in video games? Canada’s first esports and gaming ETF, the Evolve E-Gaming Index ETF (HERO ETF), is an index-based exchange-traded fund that invests in the leading video game companies across the globe. To learn more about HERO ETF, please click here:

Portfolio Strategy and Activity

For the month, AppLovin Corporation made the largest contribution to the Fund, followed by International Games System Co. Ltd, and Krafton Inc. The largest detractors to performance for the month were Electronic Arts, followed by Roblox Corp, and NetEase Inc.



  1. Ngoc, M.T.L., “Spotlighting women gamers and how they play and spend on video games,” Newzoo, March 28, 2024;
  2. Long, T., “What were the top 10 games by cumulative revenue across Europe in 2023?,” Newzoo, March 21, 2024;
  3. Lee, J-H., “Krafton eyes mega M&A, PUBG franchise deals: Krafton chair,” The Korea Economic Daily, March 20, 2024;
  4. “Team Japan’s Shoma Mori Crowned First World Champion of Baseball Esports Championship the WBSC eBASEBALL™ Series!,” Konami Digital Entertainment, March 12, 2024;

Header image source: Getty Images Credit: ATHVisions

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