Most protagonists of games are male. I imagine the conventional wisdom is that this is because
- We live in a patriarchal society, especially when it comes to game development, and
- The target demographic is predominantly male.
I once heard that for fiction, females are more able to empathise with a male character, than males are with a female character. So the great imbalance in gender in fiction is not necessarily due to patriarchy, but that it just makes sense from a financial point of view. I'm not sure if I subscribe to that, but it is interesting.
And there was a time when gaming was for super hardcore nerdy males, but now almost everybody has a games machine, and it is not a stigma to like games as it once was, I don't know if it is such a male domain any more.
So leaving aside any question of whether we should try to reduce gender stereotypes, my question is, does having a female protagonist actually affect sales, in particular, for small indie games? Are there any experiments, statistics or research relating to this question? What is the actual demographic breakdown of gamers these days?
I realise this is an inflammatory subject, so I will stress here that I am not looking for opinions: