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Only 5% of games shown at E3 2019 featured female protagonists – report

Feminist Frequency has analysed all of the titles shown off at E3 2019 and has found only a small percentage featured female leads.

The website reported a drop in female protagonists compared to previous years, falling a total of three percent year-on-year. Once again, the majority of AAA titles focus on white, male characters in the lead role.

Drawing from 126 titles shown across Microsoft, Bethesda, Ubisoft, Square Enix and a number of other publishers, it’s a bit of a damning figure we’d love to see change in the coming years. 

However, once you dig into the nitty gritty, a more positive outlook can be seen when taking into account protagonists with gender options, with two thirds of games sporting the feature supporting both genders and additional options alongside that. 

CD Projekt Red also confirmed to Trusted Reviews that Cyberpunk 2077 won’t limit characters by gender identity, leaving plenty of room for player expression. Here’s hoping other games follow such an example.

“Of the 126 games we tallied from the E3 events held by Microsoft, Nintendo, Bethesda, Ubisoft, Square Enix, and EA, as well as the annual PC Gaming Show, a paltry six centered exclusively female protagonists, while almost five times as many, 28, centred male characters,” Feminist Frequency reports.

A 2019 report from Statista puts the gender split of videogame players across the United States at 55% (male) and 45% (female), so the options available to players when it comes to protagonists don’t reflect the demographics in reality.

High-profile exclusives such as Gears 5 and Wolfenstein Youngblood put you in the shoes of compelling, female heroes. But these are just a few drops in a pool of male-dominated titles launching throughout the rest of 2019.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2‘s stunning reveal trailer teases the possibility of Zelda being playable, which would be a historic moment for Nintendo’s beloved series. Her new hairstyle is also the coolest thing ever.

What are you thoughts? Would you like to see more playable female protagonists in games? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter @trustedreviews.


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