PC development dominates despite uptick in PS4, Xbox One interest – study

By Stephany Nunneley
15 January 2015 22:29 GMT

The latest GDC State of the Industry report has been made available, and while the number of developers for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have doubled, PC and mobile remain the top platforms for most studios.

Organizers of the Game Developer’s Conference polled over 2,000 North American developers during GDC 2014 last year, and according to the research, digital and microtransaction sales along with console development are on the rise.

Unsurprisingly, development of competitive titles are also on the rise thanks to the dawn of Twitch and the continued popularity of eSports.

While mobile interest with developers slid compared to last year’s study, it wasn’t by much: in 2013 58% of developers expected to release a game on mobile while in 2014 that figure slipped to 48%.

Full stats are below:

PC, PS4, Xbox One, mobile (GDC: “note games often are developed across multiple platforms”)

  • 26% of developers surveyed said they’re currently working on a PS4 game; up from 14% in 2013
  • 22% are currently working on an Xbox One game, up from 12% in 2013
  • 56% of respondents said their current game will be released on PC
  • 50% will release a current project on smartphones or tablets, compared to 53% and 52%, respectively, in 2013.
  • 29% expect their next game to be on PlayStation 4, compared to 20% in 2013
  • 24% expect the project to release for Xbox One, compared to 17% last year
  • 53% expect their next game to release on PC
  • 48% expect to release on smartphones or tablets

Digital Sales, Microtransactions, growth

  • 29% of profits stemmed from direct sales to consumers or digital sales
  • 21% said micro-transactions were their primary source of profit
  • 13% said the majority of profits came from retail sales
  • 19% said saw no profits; were non-profit; didn’t know
  • 41% noted higher profits in 2014
  • 9% said profits were higher in 2013
  • 20% said profits were the same year-over-year
  • 28% weren’t sure
  • 40% of developers saw profit rise and staff expand
  • 44% hired more staff in 2014
  • 15% lost staff members
  • 1% saw their company closed
  • 38% said staff numbers were the same year-over-year

eSport Games

  • 1 in 10 developers are making an eSpots game (12% of respondents)
  • 79% perceive eSports to be a long-term, sustainable business

The entire report can be read through the press release.

GDC 2015 will take place March 2-6 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California.

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