North American and European game devs prefer creating for PC, GDC survey suggests

Polycount

Posts: 2,862   +575
Staff member
Stronger than ever: Despite AAA publishers' occasional insistence that PC gaming is dead or on its way out, that couldn't be further from the truth these days. Steam and the Epic Games Store have millions of users and continue to grow every year -- even game devs themselves prefer the platform over consoles, according to a recent Game Developers Conference (GDC) survey.

While consoles remain a force to be reckoned with in the gaming sphere, the GDC's latest State of the Game Industry report claims that a whopping 58 percent of polled devs find the PC to be the "most interesting" platform.

In this particular area, PC surged ahead of even the PS5, which garnered 44 percent interest. The Nintendo Switch followed closely at 38 percent, and the Xbox Series X/S came in last for consoles at 30 percent. Virtual reality platforms as a whole collectively sat at 27 percent developer interest.

Google's Stadia platform, however, came in dead last. That's not great news for Google's streaming service, which hasn't exactly been making headlines lately for its break-out success stories (that's probably because there haven't been many).

The GDC's State of the Game Industry report does not specify what "developer interest" means, but it's probably safe to assume it references platforms they'd most like to create content for; if given the freedom to choose.

3,000 developers were polled in total, and since the GDC is primarily a Western event, the survey's respondents are mostly from North American and European countries. As such, there's the possibility that some regional bias is influencing the results -- Asian developers might prefer console development, for example.

Either way, this survey should act as further evidence that PC gaming is still going strong, and here to stay for a good long while. Cloud gaming might overtake it someday, but judging by the lack of developer interest in platforms like Stadia (currently), that day hasn't arrived just yet.

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HotToz

Posts: 31   +42
PC alone has more power that PS or Xbox. Even when consoles have tried to kill PC gaming with console exclusives, PC gaming has a lot of advantages over console, custom controllers, better graphics and performance plus you already own for your work or homework. I think pc gonna be with us for a long time.
 

Kosmoz

Posts: 250   +448
Even though I'm a PC guy 1st, I can't be but happy for seeing PS5 2nd. It's another proof that Mark Cerny did a good job and was not talking BS last year with it's technical presentation.

And after seeing the latest trailer from Ratchet & Clank and being blown away by it, I'm sure more great games will come on the PS platform.

That SSD+IO combo PS5 has (and has already working in games) not even the PC has yet and I'm curious to see how long it takes for PC to catch up to that specific part and when will the 1st proper PC game come taking advantage of those features, like they do on PS5. But it's only a matter of time...

Anyway it's another great generation to be a PC + PS5 owner*.
*from a technically pov, not a price and availability pov though... :confused:
 

Fearghast

Posts: 374   +285
I am not all that surprised as the PC is the biggest market and PS5 availability is still abysmal.
I am glad I own still a decent PC and Switch as I can play pretty much everything the market has to offer.
The only thing am still missing is a VR headset ... maybe Oculus Quest 2 would be a solution, but it's tied to Facebook and the computational power is still not really there for use as a dedicated device.
 

Ravey

Posts: 298   +129
I'm always skeptical on how this data is collected and how to put it in perspective. For example if the GDC was a recent online event then you may find that those attending are developers that have a preference to PC content creating.

Then there is the numbers. For Example; How many developers are there in total that are employed in North America (Time for a wiki search!!)

My keyboard warrior skills show me that in 2017 an estimated 66,000 people were directly employed within the industry. So now using my woefully lacking math skills (google to the rescure again!) this would indicate that the survey only covered about 4.6% of the total people emplyed by the industry.

For me, that isnt enough - The survey would need to cover at least a quarter of the total number employed in the industry before it shows any kind of relevance.

That said, I still think PC would come out on top :)
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,668   +3,536
TechSpot Elite
I'm always skeptical on how this data is collected and how to put it in perspective. For example if the GDC was a recent online event then you may find that those attending are developers that have a preference to PC content creating.

Then there is the numbers. For Example; How many developers are there in total that are employed in North America (Time for a wiki search!!)

My keyboard warrior skills show me that in 2017 an estimated 66,000 people were directly employed within the industry. So now using my woefully lacking math skills (google to the rescure again!) this would indicate that the survey only covered about 4.6% of the total people emplyed by the industry.

For me, that isnt enough - The survey would need to cover at least a quarter of the total number employed in the industry before it shows any kind of relevance.

That said, I still think PC would come out on top :)
Even when making console games, you still do it on a PC. It stands to reason that devs prefer it. And consoles usually require a lot more work to be put into them.

Remember that we are talking about devs here not publishers.
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,877   +2,191
Staff member
Even when making console games, you still do it on a PC. It stands to reason that devs prefer it. And consoles usually require a lot more work to be put into them.

Remember that we are talking about devs here not publishers.
While this is certainly true, that's not what the survey asked them about. The question wasn't "What platform do you develop on?", for example. The GDC survey also asked the following questions, which shed a little more light on the situation:

Which platform(s) was your previous project released on? (Choose all that apply)
PC = 58%
IOS = 35%
Android = 34%
PS4 = 26%
XB1 = 24%
Mac = 17%
Switch = 14%

Which platform(s) are you developing your current project for? (Choose all that apply)
PC = 58%
iOS = 32%
Android = 31%
PS5 = 27%
XSX/S = 24%
PS4 = 22%
XB1 = 21%
Mac = 18%
Switch = 17%

The percentages clearly indicate that a significant portion of project were released on multiple platforms, and that this is also true for their current projects. However, if developers were mostly using PCs to develop games for multiple platform releases, rather than just for PCs, we should have seen more evenly distributed figures.

For example, let's say 100 developers are surveyed, and only 3 platforms existed - PC, PS, XB. Now let's say that the results came out like this:

PC only = 5 devs
PS only = 15 devs
XB only = 10 devs
PC+PS = 5 devs
PC+XB = 15 devs
PS+XB = 10 devs
All platforms = 30 devs

The percentage breakdown would then be like this:

PC = 65%
PS = 60%
XB = 65%

Now change the survey findings so that 'PC only' and 'All platform' swap values (I.e. 30 and 5 respectively). The percentages now become:

PC = 65%
PS = 35%
XB = 40%

So the GDC survey strongly suggests that, out of the developers queried, a healthy portion of them only selected PC and not any of the other platforms, indicating that their current and future projects may well be PC only.
 

Rayneofpayne

Posts: 354   +313
Well there is this thing about PC players that consoles don't have. Player retention hell people are still playing Diablo 2 original, Path of Exile gets massive surges every league start. Games typically are well played on pc and have more flexibility people are still making mods for Morrowind and Oblivion and still play the original Doom. There is also progression of technology which is at a much faster pace, soon thanks to NVidia kick-starting Ray Tracing game developers eventually near future drop raster lighting cutting development times allowing them to repurpose in other areas.
 

m3tavision

Posts: 651   +403
What else is there...?
PC.... everything else, is for my Children.....

Secondly, Android...? So this tells you that Techspot is talking about arcade style games... and game such as gems, or tetris. Which really are not games, but arcade puzzles....!
 
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