The availability of female protagonists in video games and the push for more playable female characters has been a hot topic in recent years. For example, articles on the gender breakdowns at E3 or reasons that game companies provide for not having playable female characters often engender a great deal of discussion.

In this blog post, we’ll use survey data from 1,266 gamers to explore just how important female protagonists are to gamers, and how this varies across gamer segments.

Data From the Gamer Motivation Profile

Here at Quantic Foundry, in addition to the Gamer Motivation Profile, we also have additional research surveys that gamers can participate in. These surveys tackle a variety of game preference questions, and allow us to link gamers’ responses back to things like their motivation scores, gender, and age. 1,266 gamers participated in this research survey.

See how you compare with other gamers. Take a 5-minute survey and get your Gamer Motivation Profile

In the survey, we asked gamers to rate the importance of “Having the option to play a female protagonist” on a 5-point scale from “Not Important At All” (1) to “Extremely Important” (5).

75% of Female Gamers Rated Female Protagonists as Very or Extremely Important

The majority of female gamers (56.8%) rated the availability of female protagonists as being “extremely important”—this was more than 3 times higher than the number of male gamers who selected this response option. The most commonly selected response among male gamers was that female protagonists are “somewhat important”. Overall, 75% of female gamers rated female protagonists as “very” or “extremely” important.