This actually should not surprise me, but it did. A study conducted by the firm – Electronic Entertainment Design and Research – reported, as spotted by Escapist, that videogames with heroines, or female lead characters are on the rise, and they generally achieve higher average review scores.
The researchers looked at all games published from 2005 to 2010 to see how gender impacted sales. The study follows a recent claim by a developer that certain publishers refuse to make games with female leads because they don’t sell as well.
“As an industry, we still clearly have a bias towards males characters, with 90% of all video games released in the U.S. and Europe on seventh generation consoles having playable male characters,” EEDAR states. “However, that 51% of games this generation have playable female characters is an incredible accomplishment for our industry and reinforces our progress towards serving ever widening demographics.”
So the firm decided to look at the critical reception of games with female leads to determine if there is a pronounced bias. The results showed that games with female leads hit an average quality score of 67.88, the highest in the study. Games with a choice between male and female leads scored at 67.21, titles featuring male heroes scored 65.78, and titles starring characters with non-discernible gender scored the lowest at 59.86.