About 40% Of Samurai Warriors Players Are Female

By Ishaan . February 16, 2011 . 5:30pm

While you may not know him by name, Hisashi Koinuma is the Koei developer in charge of the company’s Warriors (or Musou, if you prefer) series of games. One of Koinuma’s recent projects is Samurai Warriors: Chronicles on the Nintendo 3DS, thanks to which he got to chat with Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, to talk up the title.


During the conversation, Koinuma revealed an interesting statistic: just under 40% of Samurai Warriors players are female. Koinuma believes that this is because, when Warriors games are created, the development teams don’t make a distinction between good and evil.


The Samurai Warriors characters are based on real historical Japanese figures, but Koinuma feels that history is often written only by “winners.” For this reason, he prefers to empathize with warlords that were depicted as both good and evil in Japanese history, and portray them both positively, taking into account their motivations.


The other reason women are drawn to the Warriors series, he says, is that the games can be played entirely by mashing on a single button, so the series is accessible even to those that don’t play action games.


Amusingly, Koinuma also reveals that every year, Koei receive Valentine’s Day chocolates from female players, addressed to the various feudal warlords featured (all based on real figures in Japanese history) in the Samurai Warriors games. He says the developers gladly eat the chocolates themselves, since the warlords can’t.


The 40% female players statistic is interesting, and is by no means a stretch. Capcom have made very similar comments about their own Sengoku Basara series, which is similar in nature to the Samurai Warriors games. You can read up on possible theories on why Japanese women seem to like these games in this post.

  • shy_mel

    I think it’s more for the pretty/handsome/strong men than no good or evil distinction.

    • Bwahaha. If you read the full interview, Iwata says the same thing. And Koinuma goes all, “Oh, I don’t know about that…”

      But yea, that is almost certainly the primary reason. Sure, they might stick around for the very positive/romantic presentation of the characters, but the controls/bishies are what draws them in. Capcom said the same thing about Sengoku Basara.

      • Guest

        yeah but Capcom should just throw in Blanka as a cameo because all the ladies love him

      • I think controls are the big thing there. Both the women I know who play Warriors/Musou games do so because they’re, y’know, fun.

    • i agree…

  • I do not understand why they keep doing these summary statistics. A 60/40 split ratio is statistically supported in many aspects of life…

    • Testsubject909

      It’s supposedly so that they may know what to focus on.

      Just think about making a fair and good game and everything should follow, that’s what I would state. Though from a developers and publisher’s point of view. Knowing your market and knowing what sells and what works is never a bad thing. So think of them as attempting to quantify certain non-measurable values in their games and connecting the dots to certain identifiable values and demographics that they can bring up.

      Certainly helps to appease investors and publishers if well presented.

  • ya know i cant help but realize but that with every 1 girl gained you lose 2 loyal fans from male fanbase. is it really worth it? to make them all FABULOUS BISHONENS instead of just pretty decent bros just to get an smaller female fanbase?

    • I don’t see how being a girl automatically puts you in a different category as loyal fan.

      Let’s be honest here: even guys like the bishonens. Not saying in the same way some girls/guys would, but If you had to choose between the majority of characters being big hulking muscle dudes and the majority being relatively thin but still muscled dudes that look stylishly cool (Note that the gameplay is just as repetitive either way), which would you pick?

      • I agree. I like watching toothpicks throw guys around like nothing. Though, at the same time, I can sympathize with guys who don’t like running around as a girly man. It’s really all about preference.

        I also don’t think it’s intentional that they ended up with a female fanbase. They way that they told the story (without a set-in-stone shonen-manga-like black and white) played a part.

        • Guest

          Many Western Caucasians are insecure about playing as such dudes. The overt masculinity and brute force of the meathead steroid grunts is more sexually non threatening to their in the closet libidos. Though in Japan, that look (as you can see in Cho Aniki) is more defined as the “gay” stereotype than the “metrosexual Bishie” is looked at as “gay” in the West….

          • Yeah, it’s understandable. Though honestly, even some of the bulkier character designs can be done better…

    • Bakuryukun

      Also one thing you need to consider is that in japan beauty is considered to be a unisex trait, they have plenty of legends about beautiful men, this isn’t a new thing by any stretch of the imagination.

  • The one thing I appreciate about Samurai Warriors in comparison to Sengoku Basara is that Koei doesn’t hesitate to add females who, by a few, did little to anything in the Sengoku Period (though some characters may be fictional). I can name several females that should’ve been added in Sengoku Basara because it’s better than Capcom “appealing mostly to the females.”

  • and knowing this will help me find people to drag to my house and play the game with me?

  • well, ratio aside.. most of those facts stated may be part of the reason for its attractiveness to the casual female gamers.. well, perhaps not the evil or good part… look at Sephiroth, he is super evil but still he had got tons of female fans(before).. or squall who, as a bf candidate, is a jerk yet many still likes him.. lol..

    anyhow, i never like these type of game.. the enemies sole purpose of existence is for you to cut down.. also the history part its boring… i rather watch anime.. well, not something like basara but more like bakumatsu type which is mix of supernatural fiction and real history..with a more serious atmosphere.. as for the real thing, i can read it later…

    besides, bishonen alone is just not enough to attract me even though i like them..

    one more thing… i seriously hate the map system in the game.. its confusing.. i always got lost.. lol..

  • Waiiitt a minute….. historically women didn’t do this mucch. LOLZ we sat behind stoves. Just messing. Cute ratio – I also blame the boom of female admiration going on in Japan and the popularity of harem styled animes, visual novels, and the like. Maybe not so exclusively to that, but it’s certainly a big difference since 10-15 years ago.

  • godmars

    And by title alone that percentage will shrink because of all the guys in the West making JP accounts so they can hit on JP girls…

  • I can actually see this. Being a female who enjoys the musou games myself, plus introducing a few other females to their series. The simple buttons setup to remember, the personalities of the characters, the character designs.. they all drew us to the games. (And I believe that’s the sole reason why I continue following the series.)

    • Guest

      Now try Vanquish

  • ‘The other reason women are drawn to the Warriors series, he says, is that the games can be played entirely by mashing on a single button, so the series is accessible even to those that don’t play action games.’

    Ooh, ouch. Although I guess for all I know that could be true for lots of women who play the games. I’m assuming he was basing it on something, after all. :)

    I have to admit, out of the European launch games this is perhaps the one I’m most tempted by at the moment: I like what I’ve played of the series before and I’m not all that interested in most of the other launch games.

  • woman play this game because the character design of the male are so cool … I think

  • Guest

    I’m surprised Koei hasn’t capitalized on this and made a Bishounen AVG game

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