The sixth annual ‘state of the industry’ survey, conducted by the Game Developers Conference, sheds some light on some key developer intentions for the coming year. Of the nearly 4000 people surveyed, a growing number are looking at the Nintendo Switch with bedroom eyes. Last year, prior to the device’s launch, 3 per cent of respondents were working on a Switch game. This year that’s risen to 12 per cent.
A clear result of a stellar year for the Switch, not just with regards to sales of the handheld (sorry, home console) and triple-A Nintendo support, but also thanks to the performance of indie games on the storefront. In fact, the survey shows that games released on Switch tend to sell at least as well, if not better, than on other platforms. Despite a considerably lower install base. 28 per cent of respondents had better results on Switch than other platforms, with an additional 23 per cent having average sales success on the device. Only 16 per cent of developers saw worse sales on Switch than elsewhere.
Developer interest in the Nintendo Switch is greater (36 per cent) than in virtual reality devices (33 per cent), mobile devices (30 per cent) and the Xbox One (28 per cent). Only PC (59 per cent) and the PS4 (39 per cent) interest developers more. As a result, developers expecting to release their next game on the Switch has risen from 5 per cent in 2017 to 15 per cent this year. A healthy sign for the device, which promises to have another great year in 2018, especially if Nintendo can keep hardware sales high with exclusive triple-A content.
The full survey report goes into further detail about virtual and augmented reality, interest in which has shrunk since last year, and monetisation strategies. Specifically, loot boxes have unsurprisingly fallen out of favour, languishing at the bottom of the business model table with only 11 per cent of developers planning to use them in their next games.
Be sure to check out the full report for more intriguing details and insight into the future of games development.