34% of developers have seen a decline in business due to COVID-19, says GDC survey

Informa Tech, the organizers behind the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC), has released the survey results of nearly 2,500 game developers, providing insight into how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the games industry.

When asked how the pandemic had affected their business, 34 per cent of developers said that they had seen a decline, 37 per cent responded their business had been unaffected, while 31 per cent have seen an increase.

Although just 10 per cent of developers have been laid off or furloughed due to the pandemic, 26 per cent of those surveyed have seen their household income decrease.

70 per cent of developers switched to moving from home at the start of lockdown, while 27 per cent were already doing so. The pandemic has also had an impact on game development itself, with 33 per cent of developers saying they have had to delay their games.

Among the most pressing issues facing developers right now are poor communication, isolation, and lack of access to critical tools during lockdown. Almost half of those surveyed reported that working from home had affected their productivity, while a third said they have experienced a dip in creativity while working form home. Despite the lowered productivity and creativity, nearly half of the developers  reported an increase in working hours.

Developers say that isolation, lack of communication, deteriorating work/life balance, and childcare demands are some of the most difficult parts of working from home. However, they are not yet ready to stop working from home, with just a tenth of respondents feeling safe returning to the office right now.

The full survey can be downloaded here.

About Chris Wallace

Chris is MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer, joining the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can regrettably be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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