28 Mar 2019
When you think about your favourite game of all time, what do you think of? Do you remember the story, the immersive characters and sprawling open world? Do you think about a specific level in a game that took you 500 tries before you finally completed it?
Do you think about the protagonist, the character you were playing as? Was it the classic silent type? A space marine? Or even an Italian plumber? Whatever you’re thinking of, the odds are you’re probably not thinking of a woman.
Currys PC World and Logitech have taken a look at the top 50 selling games of all time, what is perhaps the most surprising is that not one of the games includes a stand-alone female protagonist. This is in comparison to 38% of the games that featured a male-only character and their main protagonist.
The stereotype of gamers being, in the majority, young and male may be partly to blame for this. In reality, studies have shown, that women tend to make up roughly half of the 2.3billion gamers worldwide. However, female gamers are still under-represented in the video games they are playing.
This might be more specifically down to the fact that, in the workplace, in the studios which make the games we all know and love, women make up only 12% of the staff. If women are not represented in the game studios then they will more-than-likely continue to be underrepresented in the games they create.
There are definitely still some fantastic games out there that feature women in the lead role. The smash-hit of 2017 Horizon: Zero Dawn saw Aloy fight her way through a post-apocalyptic world filled with robot-dinosaurs, and the game sold more than 7.6million copies but missed out on the top 50 list.
One of the most iconic gaming franchises, Tomb Raider, has had Lara Croft front and center since the first game was released in 1994. The most successful game in the franchise, the 2013 reboot, has sold 11million copies so far but again missed out on a spot in the top 50.
The future of gaming is looking bright for female leads. The hotly anticipated Last of Us II, slated for release later in 2019, will focus entirely on the story of Ellie. Gears of War 5 is looking to buck the trend of the previous Gears games by letting you step into the shoes of Kait. And Control the next title from studio Remedy, the studio that brought us Alan Wake and Max Payne, will feature a female protagonist.
Tetris takes the top spot as the biggest selling game of all time, as of January 2019, with an incredible 170million copies sold since it’s release way back in June 1984. Second place is taken by the incredible Minecraft with 154million copies sold, and the bronze medal is taken by Rockstar’s ‘Most Profitable Entertainment Product’ ever sold, GTA V with a whopping 100million copies.
Other interesting figures pulled out of the report collated by Currys PC World and Logitech, showed that 62% of the biggest selling games were pre-occupied with action and violence in one form or another.
Five racing games made the Top 50, but four of them are Mario titles. The only one not featuring racing plumbers and tortoise shells was Need for Speed: Most Wanted which placed 48th on the list. Although the Need for Speed franchise is incredibly popular, none of the other games came close. This might be due to the fact that Most Wanted was released on an unusual number of platforms, including the Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance, GameCube, PC, PlayStation 2, PSP, Xbox and Xbox 360.
2019 promises to be a bumper year for big-name titles being released. In theory, depending on the timeline of the next generation of consoles, yearly standards, such as FIFA 20, could appear on PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox360, Xbox One and the next generation of Xbox console. The FIFA series continues to sell well every year as people look to update the best-selling football game.
The release of the The Last of Us II is likely to be record-breaking based on the outstanding reviews and performance of the first title in the series. Additionally, Cyberpunk 2077 the next game out from CD Projekt Red, could very well outsell their last title, The Witcher 3. Witcher was a smash-hit on its release in 2015 and made sure that fans will pick up a copy of the next CD Projekt Red title.
Keep Calm and waka waka...