36% of Developers Interested in the Switch; 11% Working on Games With Loot Boxes - GDC Survey

The latest Game Developers Conference survey shows an increase in interest for Nintendo Switch development and quite a lot of interesting data.

Today the organizers of the 2018 Game Developers Conference reached out with a press release to announce the results of a survey that included responses from nearly 4,000 professional developers.

Interest in the Switch is growing: 12% of respondents are working on a game for the platform (up from 3% last year). 15% are planning to make their next game available on Switch (up from 5% last year).

The answer on what platform interests developers the most is also definitely interesting: 36% of respondents included the Switch. This places Nintendo’s console behind PC (59%) and PS4/PS4 Pro (39%), but ahead of Xbox One/Xbox One X (28%).

28% of respondents mentioned that their games have sold better than average on Switch, while 23% responded that their sales on Switch have been average. Only 16% mentioned that their games have sold less on Switch than other consoles, while 33% remarked that the question did not apply to them.

Moving on to business models, 49% of developers responded that their next game will be pay to download, 39% mentioned that it’ll be free to download, 23% responded that it’ll feature paid DLC, and 22% that it’ll include in-game items sold for real money. 11% of respondents mentioned that their next game will include “paid item crates.”

The survey asked developers to elaborate on loot boxes, and many expressed cautious opinions about their proper implementation, bringing up the fact that they should only award cosmetic items. Other remarks included the necessity to balance them for gameplay, and that rewards should be accessible also by playing normally.

Speaking of past games, developers were asked which platforms their last title was released on: PC, PS4, and Xbox One saw an increase year-on-year (45% in 2017 vs. 50% in 2018 for PC, 19% in 2017 vs. 23% in 2018 for PS4/PS4 Pro, 15% in 2017 vs. 19% in 2018 for Xbox One/X). On the other hand, mobile development dropped from 35% to 32% year-on-year.

Last, but not least, there seems to be a small decrease in interest for virtual and augmented reality. 19% of developers responded that their current game will be released for VR headset, but 17% mentioned that their next game will be for virtual reality. Asked whether VR/AR is a long-term, sustainable business 29% answered negatively compared to 25% in the past two years.

Game Developers Conference 2018 will take place from March 19th to March 23rd at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California.

In other Nintendo Switch news, Nintendo’s console was at the top of the NPD results for the month of December 2017.

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Giuseppe Nelva

Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.

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