More than 2,600 North American game developers were surveyed for the March Games Developers Conference. The survey was conducted to poll how games developers planned to obtain financing, which platforms they favored to develop for and so on. It came as no great surprise that the Playstation 4 was slightly ahead of the Xbox One, with 20 percent of developers surveyed interested in working on Sony’s new baby. That’s not to say the Xbox One was poor in reception, managing to pull in 17 percent. Nintendo’s Wii U meanwhile pulled in a fairly disheartening 4 percent, further adding to the evidence that games developers are growing increasingly reluctant to take risks on Nintendo’s machine.
The PC and the Smart Phone market meanwhile were the highest, 52 percent were anticipating the release of their game on the PC or Mac Platform. 53 Percent were working on the PC, and 51 percent are planning mobile versions of their titles.
This is great news for the PC platform, but it also likely ties in with the other interesting tidbit gleaned in the survey. Developers are looking for ways to self-publish rather than rely on the traditional games publishers. 64 percent of those responding currently aren’t working with a games publisher. 17 percent responded and said they were a games publisher and 19 percent are opting to publish their game with a publisher.
Personally I don’t find these numbers super surprising, with many of the smaller studios pushing towards either PC or Smart Phone development due to its lower costs. It’s also easier to obtain approval (in the case of the PC, particularly if you’re not going the Steam route, you don’t require approval from anyone). Mobile and PC are a great way for developers to make some cash and gain notoriety for their work. The PS4 and Xbox One are of course the new kids on the block, and they don’t have the audience levels of the more established platforms as yet.
No doubt the numbers willing to work on a Wii U title come as little surprise to many of you. Nintendo’s system is stuck in the same vicious circle that has claimed many a console. You need developers and publishers to release games on your system so people are interested in buying your system. But the developers and publishers want people to buy your system so they know that it’s worth their time and money.