12 per cent of developers who participated in GDC 2014’s State of the Industry Survey say they are working on a game they would classify as an eSports title. 79 per cent perceive eSports to be a long-term, sustainable business.
"Twitch is making broadcasting competitions very accessible, and high-profile events like Evo are getting more and more attention," one developer wrote, with another adding: "Creating a game as an eSport causes it to become a hobby and an interest outside the act of playing it. This increased engagement is one way of allowing a game to become part of a player’s life in ways that [don’t] require them to always be investing their time into playing it."
The study also found an increasing shift to PS4 and Xbox One development, with 26 per cent and 22 per cent of studio’s respectively developing titles for each machine. That’s up from 14 per cent and 12 per cent last year.
Polygon separately confirmed that developing for Wii U stood at six per cent, marking a slight year-on-year increase.
PC remains king of the roost, however, attracting 56 per cent (up from 53 per cent) while smartphones and/or tablets are actually down, falling slightly to 50 per cent (down from 52 per cent).
Also outlined was the move away from boxed retail. 29 per cent of respondents said the majority of their profits came from direct-to-consumer sales or digital sales while 21 per cent named microtransactions as their most lucrative outlet.
Only 13 per cent said boxed retail games were their strongest source of income.