Google Play has set up a new initiative called Change the Game to help promote gender inclusivity and diversity in games.
The company partnered with analytics firm Newzoo to study the experiences and perceptions of female gamers in the US, finding that 49% of all mobile gamers are women.
The study also found that 64% of women preferred mobile games to other platforms, and 43% played mobile games five times or more a week. Women play games for entertainment, stress relief, and for taking a restful moment.
Despite the high numbers of women playing games, developers were found not to cater for them. 44% more of the top 100 grossing games on Google Play use icons that feature male characters rather than female, and 60% of women felt that less than a third of mobile games are designed for them.
To try and combat this, Google Play will be adding new collections to highlight games starring strong female characters. It is also working with groups such as Girls Make Games.
One of Google's most recent initiatives was its Infinite Deviation program. It offered game designers from all backgrounds to pitch their mobile game ideas directly to Google Play, and then develop and promote the game with the company.