GDC 2018 survey shows the PC as the dominant platform, 1 out of 10 devs working on games with loot boxes

The 2018 Game Developers Conference has released the results of the sixth annual State of the Industry Survey, revealing trends in the games industry ahead of GDC 2018 this March. According to the survey, which features responses from nearly 4,000 game developers, the interest in PC development has gone up since last year.lopment and VR, while still strong, has begun to slip this year.

When asked to select which business model(s) they planned to use for their next game, nearly half (49%) said “pay to download” and 39% said “free to download.” 23% said their next game would feature paid downloadable content (DLC) updates, and 22% said it would feature in-game items sold for real money. Notably, 11% said their next game would include “paid item crates,” suggesting that approximately 1 in 10 game makers is figuring out how to implement something like a loot box mechanic in their next game.

When asked to elaborate on their opinions on the matter, several developers expressed cautious sentiment about its proper implementation, highlighting the need to only use Loot Boxes to award vanity items. They also made the recommendation that Loot Boxes only reward items that are also accessible without paying, and only after being properly balanced for gameplay first.

When asked what platform their last game was released on, the developers responded with higher numbers for PC (45% in 2017, 50% in 2018), PS4/Pro (19% in 2017, 23% in 2018) and Xbox One/X (15% in 2017, 19% in 2018), but a small decrease in the number of titles that were released on smartphone/tablet devices (35% in 2017, 32% in 2018).

When asked which platforms (if any) interested developers the most, 36% of respondents answered Nintendo Switch, a strong showing that only places it below more established platforms like PC (59%) and PS4/Pro (39%). The Nintendo Switch even managed to garner more developer interest than the Xbox One/X, which received 28%.

When asked what platform their current game will be released on, 19% of survey respondents said “VR headsets.” While these numbers reflect healthy interest in immersive technologies, these same respondents expressed plans for a decreased involvement in these same technologies in the future. When asked what platform(s) they expected their next game would be released on, only 17% said VR headsets.

Those interested can register and download the full report from here.