PC and smartphones are overshadowing consoles, studio survey shows

PSN ‘twice as popular as XBLA’ for UK devs

Britain’s game development workforce is investing twice as much work in PSN than Microsoft’s XBLA platform, new data suggests.

A survey of about 100 studios across the UK shows that approximately 30 are developing for PlayStation’s digital platform, while 16 are creating content for Xbox Live Arcade.

The new data, collected by trade group Tiga, adds further pressure on Microsoft to make its digital games service more appealing for the new wave of independent studios.

Earlier this week a separate international survey of 100 indie studios found that the PlayStation Network has been a more popular outlet than XBLA since August 2010. The data projected a further decline for activity across XBLA, while PSN work will continue to rise.

Tiga’s results, revealed today for the first time, shows that XBLA is only a touch more popular for UK developers than Nintendo’s WiiWare platform.

The results could be skewed somewhat as Sony has five internal games studios in Britain, while Microsoft has two in full production.

Tectonic shift

But all three consoles were losing business to more internet-embedded platforms.

Sixty seven per cent of the survey’s respondents said they publish on iPhone, while 45 per cent develop for iPad too. Forty-one per cent develop for PC, and 31 per cent said they create content specifically for Facebook.

Overall, 47 per cent of developers said they now self-publish some of their own games.

The data is another measurement of the tectonic shift across the games landscape; with excessive triple-A development costs forcing studios to build cheaper digital content.

The diversified portfolio of games platforms has dramatically reduced the average cost of development. UK devs spend on average £2.4 million for each project, though triple-A games can usually be counted in multiples of £10 million.

However, 50 per cent of respondents said retail was still their largest monetisation mechanic for games. Another 13 per cent said they generate money from subscriptions, while 26 per cent made money with microtransactions.

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