Some of the most iconic characters in video game history have been women, with Lara Croft arguably the most memorable lead coming from either gender. But despite the success of the Tomb Raider series, video games have been dominated by men. In the past, the reasoning behind this could have been because the majority of gamers were male. Indeed, figures from the USA in 2006 show that only 38 per cent of players were female then. However, the split is much closer to 50/50 now, with only 54 per cent of players in 2019 being male. For this reason, developers need to focus on representing women more.
The Most Iconic Characters
As already mentioned, Lara Croft is one of the most iconic video game characters ever created. She has appeared in twenty games to date and is recognisable to anyone who has ever picked up a console controller. But she isn’t the only woman to have made a splash in the gaming scene.
Resident Evil has been known to include a fair few female leads over the years. Claire Redfield is the best-known character from the games. She first appeared in Resident Evil 2 in 1998 and returned as a playable character in five other games. She was also in the three Resident Evil films in 2007, 2012, and 2016.
Recently, Horizon Zero Dawn introduced a female character who could go on to become an icon similar to Croft and Redfield in the years to come. Aloy is a rugged warrior with an incredible skillset, perfectly suited to survive in the post-apocalyptic world of the game. She will appear in the much-anticipated sequel Horizon Forbidden West and could go on to star in future instalments of the popular series.
Females Are Seen More in Other Game Genres
The slots market arguably has the best range of offerings with female protagonists. The list of characters used includes Cleopatra and Medusa. There are also several slots featuring the Amazon warriors who were famous for fighting on the same side as the Trojans. Some of the top free online casino games include Amazons’ Battle and Amazon Queen. These titles tap into the popularity of ancient Greek themes along with players’ desire to enjoy titles with female leads. Players can find the games they like the look of and then go directly to the sites that offer them. This site also highlights other genres of games too.
On mobile and hand-held gaming devices, there are plenty of titles that feature females as the protagonists. For example, Gravity Rush on PS Vita features the weird and wonderful Kat as the playable character. In the Broken Sword saga on PC, iOS and Android, the main character is Nicole Collard, otherwise known as Nico.
Perhaps the reason why women protagonists are more prominent outside of the console market is that mobile and casino players are a more even demographic. These legendary stars of the show could inspire console developers to work on their female leads to allure more women to their games.
An Amazon Open World Game Could be Epic
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey allowed players to choose between a male and a woman character to play for the entirety of the game. It turns out that the female option, Kassandra, was the more popular choice among players. This enjoyable protagonist will have reminded a lot of players that there were many well-known female warriors in the stories of Ancient Greece. The most famous warriors of all were the Amazons, who came to the aid of Troy in the Trojan War. They could make an excellent theme for a new open-world game set during those times.
There is potential for an Amazon-focused game to have some serious scope. In addition to appearing in the famous siege of Troy, the female warriors featured in some other Greek stories. They went on various military missions to the far corners of the Earth and were known to be of similar ability and strength to men.
While there have been more male protagonists in video games than females over the years, it could be argued that the most iconic characters have been of the fairer sex. With there now being an almost even split between men and women gamers, it would make sense for developers to create even more women leads.