A recent study conducted by the online gaming site Solitaired claims that out of 150 popular video games released between 1985 and 2022, only 6% of them have female protagonists. It’s no secret that female protagonists tend to be harder to find in games than male protagonists, and this is clearly reflected in the data from this study.
The study examined 150 video games with the highest rating on IMDB (excluding remasters and expansions), and then determined whether each game has a main character. The results showed that 69.3% of the games featured a separate male protagonist, 13.3% of the games featured one male protagonist and one female, 8.7% of the games allowed players to choose the gender of their character, and only 6% of the games had a separate protagonist. a female character.
In total, nine of the top 150 video games on IMDB featured individual female protagonists: Portal, Portal 2, Beyond: Two Souls, Tomb Raider, Life is Strange, Rise of the Tomb Raider, The Walking Dead: Season Two, Horizon Zero Dawn and Star Wars Battlefront 2. In 104 of the 150 games the protagonists were individual men or multiple male protagonists with no female protagonists options.
The study showed that in situations where the protagonists were both men and women, games still often featured more male protagonists than women. Examples given include Left 4 Dead, Heavy Rain, and Borderlands 2, which have three male protagonists and one female protagonist.
The study touched on Grand Theft Auto 5, indicating that there are three male protagonists and no female protagonists in the open-world action game Rockstar. As the massive leaks of Grand Theft Auto 6 have shown, it seems that in the next part of the multi-year franchise there will really be a female protagonist. It looks like the game will feature two playable characters, a brother and sister duo, although at the time of this writing, official details have not yet been revealed.
It will be interesting to see if this trend changes. It is possible that there will be more playable female characters in the biggest games of games, but it is also possible that video game characters in more popular games will still consist mainly of male characters. In any case, there are many upcoming video games in which fans are looking forward to the appearance of both male and female game characters, but it remains to be seen whether any of them will break into the IMDB top 150 and change this data altogether.