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Game devs flock to Switch as interest in VR declines

The sixth GDC State of the Industry Survey shows an increased interest from developers in making games for the Nintendo Switch.

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Nintendo Switch

The sixth GDC State of the Industry Survey shows an increased interest from developers in making games for the Nintendo Switch.

The annual survey collates responses from nearly 4,000 game developers, and provides a snapshot of the industry ahead of this year’s Game Developers Conference.

Devs switching to Switch

The key takeaway from this year’s report is the surge in interest for the Switch, with 12% of respondents currently working on a game, and 36% registering interest in developing for Nintendo’s hybrid device. This puts it behind the PC (59% ) and PlayStation (39% ), but ahead of the Xbox One on 28% .

Games also appear to selling well on the Switch, with 28% of developers saying their products have sold better than average. It will be interesting to if this will continue throughout 2018. The Nintendo eShop is becoming increasingly swamped with new games, and visibility is certainly to become as big an issue on Switch as it is on platforms like Steam and the PlayStation Store.

VR interest sees moderate decline

Interest in virtual reality remains strong overall, with 19% of survey respondents saying their games will be released on platforms using VR headsets. However, when asked about future products, only 17% responded in the same way. And, for the first time, there is a rise – from 25% to 29% – in developers saying they don’t see VR/AR as a sustainable business.

The report also touches on the thorny subject of loot boxes and mirco-transactions. Despite recent controversies in games like Star Wars Battlefront II, one in 10 developers show support for loot boxes. Nearly half of respondents said they intend to use a “pay to download” business model for their next game. And 1% specifically indicated that their next game will include “paid item crates.” Joyous news.

The full report is now available from the GDC website. Registration is now open for the 2018 Game Developers Conference, which will be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco between March 19-23.


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Thumbsticks editor, and connoisseur of Belgian buns. Currently playing: Fire Emblem Three Houses, Skyrim (still), and Grid.