BioWare has revealed that "18 per cent of everyone who plays Mass Effect plays it with a female character".
David Silverman, BioWare marketeer, told vg247 he was "completely taken aback" by the vocal support for FemShep (female Shepard) in Mass Effect 2.
BioWare has decided to include FemShep on the Collector's Edition box of Mass Effect 3 as a result, and will even, for the first time, base an entire ME3 video around the female lead.
"It speaks wonders to the level of passion from our fans and also the power of social media," said Silverman. "You couldn't have done something like this a couple of years ago. It's truly amazing to be able to interact with the fans directly on a one-on-one basis."
Silverman attributes the success of FemShep to the character's strong vocal performance by actress Jennifer Hale.
"There aren't enough female heroes in games in general, so it's something that people can rally around and celebrate," Silverman shared. "Jennifer Hale does an absolutely incredible job doing the voice of FemShep, so people really connect with that."
Silverman went on to say that 13 per cent of fans opt for the pre-built Shepard character, male or female. That means the remaining 83 per cent choose to customise their own looks, class and abilities.
On the sexuality of women in the game, Silverman defended the gratuitous shots of crew member Miranda's bottom as necessary for her character.
"The fact is, some characters are defined by their attractiveness, such as a woman who is genetically engineered to be perfect," Silverman declared.
"Camera angles help tell the story and portray key aspects of each character - in Miranda's case, her curves and sexuality.
"We had similar shots of Jacob," he added.
BioWare released, in September last year, various Mass Effect 2 statistics pulled from the Xbox 360 and PC versions of the game. Apparently Grunt was more popular on Xbox 360 and Miranda on PC. What does that say about you, console gamers?