While women make up nearly half of all gamers, a continued study by Buzz Bingo has revealed that only 12% of next-generation video games exclusively feature a female protagonist, with 2020 being the worst year yet for female representation.
As part of this continued study, Buzz Bingo analysed every game released on PlayStation and Xbox since 2016 to see how female representation in the gaming industry has developed, as well as how this representation is unfolding in 2021.
1. PlayStation Games Year-on-Year
- Our research showed us that 2020 was the lowest year in terms of the number of female-led games released on PlayStation consoles, with only 14 games (8.6%) released that year featuring a female protagonist.
- 2021 is already looking more promising in terms of the number of games set to be released featuring a female lead, with 23 games (18.4%) with a female protagonist having been announced so far.
2. Xbox Games Year-on-Year
- In three out of the six years we analysed, only 9 of the games that were released for Xbox consoles featured a female lead.
- So far, 2021 already ranks second for the highest number of female protagonist led games for Xbox, with 14 games (12.8%) featuring a female lead having been announced or released.
3. The New Generation: Xbox Series X/S and PS5
- Research from Buzz Bingo has revealed that only 51 games (12%) out of the 414 confirmed PS5 and Xbox Series X/S exclusively feature a female protagonist compared to 139 (34%) games with a male-only lead.
- 33% of all games had both male and female protagonists or allowed the user to customise the gender.
|Gender of Lead(s)||Xbox Series X/S||PlayStation 5||Xbox %||PS5 %||Total %|
- We analysed every game released on PlayStation and Xbox since 2016, and then manually checked each game to find out whether the playable character was male, female, ambiguous or had mixed options.
- We then broke this down to find out the best and worst years for female representation in video games.
- To determine gender, we researched wiki pages for the individual games and searched for the corresponding pronouns when necessary.
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