GDC’s 2020 State of the Game Industry: PC remains the dominant platform but focus is switching to next-gen consoles

A new report analysing trends in the video game industry has revealed developers are planning more future games for the PlayStation 5 than Nintendo Switch or the Xbox Series X.

GDC’s 2020 State of the Game Industry report took the views of over 4,000 game developers across the world and compiled their insights into everything from “cross-platform multiplayer adoption to AR/VR platform preference, as well as how devs are feeling about Google Stadia, Apple Arcade, unionisation, and much more”.

23 per cent of respondents stated their next project would release on PlayStation 5 compared to 19 per cent on Nintendo Switch and 17 per cent on Xbox Series X, formerly known as Project Scarlett. 

The most popular platform for future projects, however, was PC (52 per cent), followed by mobile (39 per cent). PlayStation 4/Pro and Xbox One/One X tied with 20 per cent of respondents targeting each for their next game. Just 8 per cent of respondents cited Google Stadia and 6 per cent stated Microsoft’s Project xCloud.

10 per cent of those polled are currently involved in projects heading to the next-gen console cycle. Disaggregated further, we learn that 11 per cent are making games for the PlayStation 5, and 9 per cent for Xbox Series X, with over a third – 34 per cent – working on games that will span both next-gen and current-gen machines. With only 5 per cent of pollers indicating they were working exclusively on next-gen consoles, it seems the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are likely to be around for some time to come. 

The analysis also found that most developers still question Steam’s 30 per cent cut of profits, with half those polled believing Epic Games Store will be a long-term success. PC remains the most popular development platform, with 50 per cent of developers indicating that not only had their last project been released on PC, but their current and future plans also included a PC release, too.

The report also surmised that “Android remains mobile devs’ most popular platform”, however “the number of devs making mobile games is slipping”.

While interest in virtual and augmented reality remains – 27 per cent of those polled said they were interested in VR, and 16 per cent in AR – just 15 per cent of developers intimated that they were currently working on a VR project, and just 7 per cent were working with AR. The Oculus Rift and the Quest are currently the most popular platforms for developers. 

For the full GDC 2020 State of the Game Industry report, head to the official website

“Some of the most notable trends highlighted in this survey include a shift in dev focus to next-gen consoles like the PlayStation 5, rising interest in VR and the Oculus Quest headset specifically, and growing confidence that the game industry can and should unionise,” the report states. “The full report also includes a smorgasbord of insights into everything from cross-platform multiplayer adoption to platform preference, as well as how devs are feeling about the Epic Games Store, Google Stadia, Apple Arcade, and much more.”

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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