A research firm released the latest data on video game characters, revealing that so far in 2022, only 61% of playable characters are male, a decrease from previous years.
DiamondLobby examined 68 new games released between Jan. 1 and May 18, not including rereleases or remasters, and found that 26% of games featured equal numbers of female and male characters.
Still, 46% of games had more male characters. Games that only featured one gender were close to parity, with 45% featuring an all-female cast and 55% boasting an all-male cast.
Between 2017 and 2021, DiamondLobby found that 79.2% of main protagonist characters were male. All male playable characters made up 66.5% of games in that same time frame.
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"Whilst progress is being made to introduce a larger number of female characters in video games, albeit a little slowly, we'd like to see more games where females have a leading role," the firm wrote in its release.
The firm expressed disappointment that Activision Blizzard "namedropped" the firm in the announcement of its controversial "diversity space tool," which it has since walked back. DiamondLobby lamented the fact that the video game developer "didn't even provide fair attribution" with a link.
"I do want to start by making it clear that no-one at DiamondLobby was aware of their tool, nor were we aware that they would be referencing our data," spokeswoman Brittney Lin wrote.
The firm has previously studied nonbinary characters, along with race and sexuality.
"Diversity shouldn't come down to a metric," Lin told the Washington Examiner.
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Video game developers nationwide have felt pressure to meet political correctness standards. Recently, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard made statements on abortion in light of the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion indicating a probable overturn of Roe v. Wade.