Having female protagonists in video games is important to almost all gamers, regardless of the player’s gender, suggests a new study. The study was put together by the same researchers that found that female and male gamers prefer wildly different genres.
Why is it Important to Have Female Protagonists in Games?
Game analytics firm Quantic Foundry recently surveyed 1,266 gamers on their feelings regarding female protagonists in video games. In total, 84.65% of respondents (including men and women) said that including female characters is of some level of importance to them. The options ranged from Not Important At All to Slightly Important, Somewhat Important, Very Important, and Extremely Important.
24.9% of men said that having female protagonists in games is not important at all, while 33.5% (just over one in three men) said that it was very or extremely important. In comparison, 76.3% of women who responded said that female protagonists as very or extremely important to them.
While the data also explains that players seem to be less interested in female characters if they are hardcore gamers, Quantic Foundry co-founder Nick Yee says that this is the same for both male and female demographics. It isn’t because a higher percentage of casual players are women.
Yee also argues that games have a lot to gain financially, by adding female characters, especially in genres that have traditionally been male-focused (e.g shooters.) Other recent data backs up the suggestion that more and more players want diversity in their video games, while sales of games like Horizon Zero Dawn and Overwatch make it clear that gamers are eager to spend money on games with characters they can relate to or diverge from the white, male status quo.
The suggestion that games with female protagonists don’t sell, because of their female leads, is officially dead. There are great female-led titles up ahead but hopefully more publishers publishers and developers will stop seeing female leads as a significant risk and will instead rise to the challenge and give players what they want.
Like this post? Like J Station X on Facebook.