On the eve of the Game Developers Conference 2021 (to be held on July 19-23), the organizers shared a study on the state of the video game industry. They interviewed over three thousand developers about their preferred platforms, working in a pandemic, the need for gaming unions and the fairness of the commission size in stores.

We share the main results of the study:

  • PC remains the most popular platform among developers for several years in a row. 58% of respondents choose it. PS5 is a little behind, 44% of developers are interested in creating games for it. They are followed by Nintendo Switch (38%), Xbox Series X|S (30%), VR headsets (27%), iOS (27%) and Android (27%);
  • more than half of the developers (58%) have released their latest game on PC. Also, quite a lot of titles were released on iOS (35%), Android (34%), PS4 (26%) and Xbox One (17%);

Platforms on which developers released their latest gameas for the following games, 53% of developers plan to make them for PC, 31% — for iOS and Android, 30% — for PS5, 25% — for Xbox Series X|S and 19% — for Nintendo Switch;

  • VR and AR games are not so much attracted to developers anymore. In 2021, only 38% of respondents said that they were engaged in or had previously been engaged in such projects. For comparison, in 2020 there were 46% of them. The most popular platform for virtual reality games turned out to be Oculus Quest, which is preferred by 52% of respondents. And the least popular was Magic Leap One with 10% of the votes;

VR and AR platforms that developers are interested ina significant proportion of developers take money to create games from the company’s internal funds (51%).

  • Also, almost a third of respondents spend their own savings on development (30%). But the release of the game in the early access format on Steam almost does not bring money — only 4% of developers make games at the expense of these funds;

Sources of funds for game developmentmost often, developers resort to buying advertising when promoting, but many rely on feathering, word of mouth and SMM.

  • Moreover , the last two methods usually go in conjunction;
  • 21% of respondents worry that subscriptions like Xbox Game Pass, EA Play and PS Plus can devalue the cost of individual games. 22% of developers are not sure that this will happen, another 26% believe that it is possible. And 30% disagree with this statement;
  • 56% of developers on average work 40 hours a week or less. And 17% of them admitted that they spend no more than 20 hours a week at work. Only 4% of respondents stated that they work more than 60 hours a week, and 2% have had at least once a week in the last year during which they worked longer than 90 hours;

Average number of working hours per week over the past 12 monthsoften people overworked because they themselves felt that they had to do it (73%).

  • At the same time, 14% had to crunch because of pressure from managers;

Reasons why developers recycle51% of respondents support the creation of a trade union in the gaming industry.

  • But only 20% of developers believe that this will actually happen;
  • The COVID-19 pandemic forced 44% of developers to postpone the releases of their games. For comparison, during the previous survey in July 2020, “only” 33% of respondents replied that they postponed projects due to a global lockdown;
  • developers are gradually getting used to remote work. 66% of respondents say that their productivity and creativity remain at the same level or get better while working from home;

How have the productivity and creativity levels of employees changed on the remoteDespite the pandemic, 47% of game studios have increased their staff over the past 12 months.

  • Nevertheless, 1% of companies still closed;
  • only 3% of developers believe that a 30% commission in stores is justified. According to 23% of respondents, its size should not exceed 10%. Also, 20% of developers have nothing against a 15% commission.

The amount of commission in stores, which suits the developers