LOS ANGELES (AFP) - - Hot French videogame maker Ubisoft is launching titles geared for girl athletes in a bet that it's not just boys that love sports both real and virtual.
Ubisoft will release "Ener-G" videogames focused on gymnastics, equestrian, and modern dance competition for play on Nintendo's portable DS devices in October as the company continues to court young female gamers.
"It's about girl power," Ubisoft of North America president Laurent Detoc told AFP on Wednesday at a major Electronics Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.
Statistics show that half of US high school athletes are girls and about 40 percent of players on college teams are females. Meanwhile, half of DS owners less than 15 years old are girls.
"Girls are clearly interested in sports videogames," said Ubisoft senior vice president of marketing Tony Key.
"They just don't want the one their brother plays. They want their sports."
"Ener-G" will join a growing line of girl-geared titles Ubisoft is crafting for what Detoc says is a rich segment of the videogame market that is only beginning to be mined.
Sales of Ubisoft's "games for girls" on DS outpace the overall market.
The firm's "Imagine" line of games for girls is the top selling third-party brand for DS.
Ubisoft will release party-themed girls' titles for Nintendo's Wii videogame console, which has been a marketplace hit with its motion-sensing controllers and communal play.
"Girls like to be social and play with their friends watching," Key said. "People are seeing there is nothing but upside to market growth from this customer."