GDC State of the Industry Survey: 34% are making games for both next- and current-gen platforms
With next-generation consoles just around the corner, developers are beginning to shift their projects to the new hardware, though they aren't ready to abandon the current consoles fully any time soon.
GDC has conducted its annual State of the Game Industry survey of 4,000 developers. From their responses, GDC found that PC remains the most popular development platform and looks to maintain this hold comfortably as we enter a new console generation. When asked what platforms their last project had launched on, what their current project was being developed for, and what they planned to make their next project for, over 50% of surveyed developers responded "PC" to each question.
Over 10% of developers are currently making games for next-gen, with 11% saying they were making games for the PlayStation 5 (and 23% saying their next game would be on the console), and 9% actively developing for Xbox Project Scarlett (17% saying their next game would be). This currently doesn't seem to be cannibalizing the last generation, at least not quickly. 25% said their current project was on the PS4 (with 20% saying their next game would be), while 23% said their current project was on the Xbox One (20% are planning their next project for it).
Furthermore, only 5% of those surveyed said they were targeting next-gen platforms exclusively for their next game. 34% confirmed that their current project would be released on both next- and current-generation platforms.
As for the Nintendo Switch, it doesn't seem to be suffering any from these transitions. 17% of developers said their current project would be released on the console, and 19% were planning their next game for it.
For the first time, the 2020 GDC survey included questions about developing for new streaming platforms. For now, it seems few developers are working on games specifically for the technology. Only 6% are currently making a game for Google Stadia, and only 3% are making a game for Project xCloud.
Developers were also asked what platforms they were interested in developing for, even if they weren't necessarily currently planning to develop for it. There was meaningfully more interest in PS5 over Project Scarlett (38% versus 25%), and 37% said they were interested in the Nintendo Switch. A few interesting outliers included 5% who said they were interested in developing for voice-activated assistants like Alexa or Google Home. 2% were interested in Panic's hand-cranked handheld, the Playdate.
As for VR and AR, overall interest is much higher than is reflected in those actively making games for the media. 15% of respondents said their current project was in VR, and only 7% said it was being developed for AR. But 27% said they were interested in VR, and 16% in AR. By platform, 25% are currently making games for the Oculus Rift and 24% for the Quest, with 20% for the HTC Vive. Only 10% are developing for PSVR, 8% for Valve Index and 5% for Magic Leap One.
The full GDC State of the Game Industry survey can be accessed here, which includes topics such as the current landscape of monetization and business models, and concerns surrounding diversity, accessibility, crunch, and unions.