A 2018 state of the industry survey by the Game Developers Conference revealed that Switch development is on the rise, developers are still making loot boxes, and VR may be on the decline.
According to the GDC survey, which polls nearly 4,000 professionals across the industry, the Switch’s future could be pretty bright. Twelve percent of developers are currently developing games for Nintendo’s new console, but that number was sitting around three percent last year at this time. When developers were asked which platforms interested them most, 36 percent answered Nintendo Switch.
The survey also asked developers about their plans for loot boxes, and 1 in 10 developers say they are working on a game that will monetize using loot boxes. More specifically nearly half of all developers (49 percent) said their next game would be “pay to download,” while 39 percent said “free to download,” 23 percent said their next game would feature DLC, and 22 percent said it would feature in-game items sold for real money.
The survey continued by saying the PC and mobile platforms are the most popular platforms to develop for and that developers are still interested in VR, but interest seems to be waning. For three years the survey has asked respondents whether they believe VR/AR is a long-term, sustainable business. Over the past two years, the responses were roughly 75 percent “Yes” to 25 percent “No.” This year, only 71 percent of respondents said they believed VR/AR was a sustainable business.
The Switch got a lot of buzz last year, so it’s not surprising that developers are gravitating toward it. Hopefully, this year will be nearly as great as last year for Nintendo. Loot boxes also got a lot of press last year – and most of it was negative, but I’m also not surprised developers are still pursuing the mechanic as it provides a stable revenue source for many games.