Researchers studied the outcomes of 1,347 matches in Epic Games' Unreal Tournament 2004 (PC), in which players were allowed to choose between joining the red or blue team. The study found that the red team won 55% of the time.
University of Copenhagen neuroscientist Mihai Moldovan suggested that one possible explanation for the skew in results could be the color red's role as a psychological distractor for men. Results were collected by Moldovan from public servers used by players from around the world.
"While this is really an interesting analysis, the notion of red team versus blue team has been ingrained in the Unreal Tournament series for years," said Epic Games president Mark Rein. "We don't anticipate any immediate changes to team colors."
The results are corroborated by recently collected data from Valve's online multiplayer shooter Team Fortress 2, which also pits players against one another in teams of red and blue. Interestingly, results gathered closer to the game's release showed a distinct slant in the blue team's favor.
The report notes that 2005 study by British researchers found that Olympic 2004 athletes wearing red in one-on-one sporting events, such as wrestling, were more likely to win.