Meanwhile more developers are focusing on Xbox One and PS4

eSports, rising profits and in-app purchases lead GDC developer survey

The organisers of the Game Developers Conference have released the results to their annual State of the Industry survey, revealing some of the biggest trends in games development.

Starting on a particularly optimistic note, more than 40 per cent of studios surveyed reported that their profits and headcount rose in 2014 when compared to the previous year. A further 20 per cent said their profits remained the same year-on-year, while only nine per cent reported a drop.

More than one in ten of the participating developers are working on an eSports title, a clear indication of how strong the growing sector is in 2015. Of the 13 per cent working on eSports games, the vast majority believe competitive gaming will be a long-term sustainable business, but only just over a quarter will be investing into player competitions after their game launches.

"Twitch is making broadcasting competitions very accessible, and high-profile events like Evo are getting more and more attention," wrote one developer.

Don’t forget, Develop’s sister title MCV is launching new channel eSports Pro next month. 

Other popular sources of business for studios included download games and in-app purchases. 29 per cent of developers said most of their profits come from digital sales, while 21 per cent said microtransactions were their primary source of income. Only 13 per cent cited retail as their biggest source of revenue.

Finally, a significant number of developers are concentrating on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. In fact, the number of studios working on these platforms has doubled in the last year.

In 2014, 14 per cent of studios were working on PS4 games and 12 per cent on Xbox One. This year, this has risen to 26 per cent for PS4 and 22 per cent for Xbox One.

PC remains the most popular platform, with 56 per cent of survey respondents planning to release a game there, up three per cent year-on-year. 50 per cent are working on smartphone or tablet titles – actually two per cent less than last year.

Check out our Countdown to GDC 2015 coverage.

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