Number of devs working on VR games doubled during 2015 - MCV

Number of devs working on VR games doubled during 2015

Annual GDC survey reveals that number of studios building for PC and mobile has fallen, as PS4 and Xbox One gain popularity
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One in six developers are making a game for VR, with around the same number set to launch their next title on the platform.

That's one of the takeaways from the latest GDC State of the Industry Survey, which questioned more than 2,000 North American devs.

The annual report found that the number of studios currently creating a VR game has more than doubled over the last 12 months, leaping to 16 per cent from seven per cent in early 2015.

As for the future, a further 15 per cent of those asked this year said that their next game will be VR-compatible – nearly triple the six per cent that planned to break into the platform in 2015.

Despite this, there is still uncertainty when it comes to virtual reality and augmented reality. More than a quarter (27 per cent) of devs don't believe VR and AR will ever match up to the install base of consoles, with three-quarters beleving the nascent technology to be sustainable in the long term.

However, 54 per cent of those surveyed predicted that VR/AR will become more commonplace than consoles by 2030. Just under half (44 per cent) expect it to overtake console adoption rates by 2026, with just one per cent expecting consoles to be the underdog by 2018.

Despite this, two-fifths (38 per cent) of respondents believe that VR and AR technology will be in 10 per cent of US households by 2020. A much bigger majority – 86 per cent – expect it to happen by 2030. One in ten devs (nine per cent) think VR and AR will never reach that level of adoption.

Speaking of consoles, both PS4 and Xbox One were found to have grown in popularity for development. 27 per cent of devs are now building for PS4, up from 26 per cent in 2015. Similarly, Xbox One development is up to 23 per cent from 22 per cent last year.

This has seemingly had a knock-on effect on PC and mobile. 52 per cent of studios are making a PC game, down from 56 per cent last year. Smartphone and tablet titles, meanwhile, have seen dev popularity slip from 50 per cent to 44 per cent over the last year.

On mobile, Android and iOS have maintained a neck-and-neck race, attracting 55 and 56 per cent of developers, respectively.

The Wii U continued to struggle to attract attention, interest drooping from six per cent to five per cent. Its handheld sibling, 3DS, also saw a decline, down to two per cent from three per cent the year previous.

Regarding another hot topic, eSports, an overwhelming majority – 88 per cent – of developers think professional gaming is here to stay for the future. That's an eight per cent increase on the 79 per cent that supported the long-term sustainability of pro-gaming in 2015.

When it comes to publishing games, self-publishing still rules the roost. Nearly three-fifths (57 per cent) of studios opt not to work with a publisher, with under a quarter (24 per cent) who still appreciate the help.

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