The GDC State of the Industry Report Shows PC is Winning

The GDC State of the Industry Report Shows PC is Winning

The annual report that precedes GDC compiles responses from over 4000 game developers and this year shows support for PC and unionisation.

GDC is an annual celebration of the professional side of the video game industry. It champions game developers and the advancement of the medium over five days of education and networking. A healthy amount of lectures, round table discussions, and panels showcase the most pressing challenges for the year ahead. Attended by a cross-section of programmers, artists, producers, game designers, audio engineers, and related professionals within the video game space, it’s an annual pilgrimage for gaming insiders.

Every year GDC publishes a ‘State of the Industry’ survey, which collects the thoughts of thousands of game developers globally. The data extracted from this report feeds back into the conference and shapes business decisions moving forward. The latest issue, published today, highlights some interesting trends which have begun to emerge. This covers less surprising news, such as a heightened interest by game developers to develop for next-gen hardware, to the more surprising stats that suggest a rising movement for game makers to unionize.

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When asked what platforms their current projects were aimed at, developers responded as follows:

Unsurprisingly, PC is winning in the race for next-generation development. By its nature, PC development is more stable and less prone to upheaval than that of its console counterpart. Despite just 5% of developers targeting next-generation exclusively, a third of recipients expect their games to launch across both next and current-gen systems. In a time when we haven’t had any official word on cross-platform capabilities, this goes some way to allaying fears that those of us that don’t make the switch on day one may be left behind.

Just because a developer is set up to work on a particular platform does not mean that studios aren’t looking at alternative options for their future games. The GDC report also asked what platforms are of interest to game makers.

PC once again leads the pack, followed closely by Nintendo Switch and PS5. The strength of the Nintendo system to win over both indie developers and successful porting projects continues to be its best asset as we move into 2020, as interest hasn’t really waned. The percentage is slightly down over last year’s report for the Nintendo Switch, but with PS5 and Xbox Series X launching towards the end of the year, this is still a strong result for the plucky handheld.

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It is also reported that nearly half of respondent game makers are, or have been, involved in AR/VR development. In the VR space, interest is moving away from the HTC Vive, in favor of Oculus and their new Quest device, giving favorable treatment to self-contained devices that will be better received by the consumer.

The whole report can be found here and is expansive. From loot box mechanics to whether subscription services will lessen the value of individual games, developers have their say on all the hot button industry topics.

GDC will be hosted at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California, and runs from March 16-20, 2020.