GDC 2019 Survey Reveals Only 18% Developers Working on Next-Gen; Devs Skeptical on Steam’s 30% Cut

Jan 24, 2019
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GDC 2019, the yearly Game Developers Conference event, will take place at San Francisco’s Moscone Center as usual between March 18th and 22nd.

Ahead of the event, the organizers of GDC 2019 have released the results of a survey on the state of the games industry. The survey was conducted among game developers, nearly 4,000 according to the report. Some of the highlights include the developers’ stance on the recent PC digital store wars, with Epic and Discord launching new stores that have a much more favorable revenue split with developers compared to Valve’s Steam. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most of the developers don’t believe Steam as it is right now can justify its 30 percent price cut.

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Do you think that Steam, in its current form, justifies a 30% cut of your game’s revenue?

Yes 6%
Maybe 17%
Probably not 27%
No 32%
Not Sure / Don’t Know 17%

  • They need to have visibility for low-budget games. They need to fix the broken troll review system. They need to only charge 5 percent for games that are simply hosted with achievements and make less than $10,000 per month. They need to give visibility to games that are updated to give a reason to update your game as no one sees updates now so there is little point in doing them.
  • Take less revenue from sales and curate their store better for visibility for real games.
  • Better support for amateur, hobbyist, and independent creators. More fostering of things like game jams and actual development communities to be created on the platform.

Another exceedingly interesting topic, particularly after yesterday’s rumors on an unannounced Xbox platform, is how many developers are already working on next-generation consoles. As it turns out, only 18 percent, of which only 2 percent are working on a game that will ship exclusively on next-generation platforms.

This could be taken as a hint that next-generation platforms aren’t launching any time soon, but then again 37% of the survey participants weren’t able to answer the question, which could significantly skew the outlook.

Are you developing your *next* game for upcoming unannounced game platforms, and/or existing platforms?

Exclusively for upcoming unannounced platforms 2%
Exclusively for existing platforms 46%
Existing and upcoming unannounced platforms 16%
N/A (Don’t know at this time) 37%

Other insights include data on crunch. Apparently, 44% of the survey participants have revealed to work over 40 hours per week on games, but 33% have attributed these long hours to self-pressure and 28% stated they don’t consider such an amount of work time to be excessive.

Last but not least, 47% of the game developers consulted in this GDC 2019 survey agree that unionization should occur in the games industry.

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