A massive exodus from hardcore gaming consoles to mobile devices

Sites include . Published on March 4th, 2013. Written by Loic Cobbina.

A company behind the Game Developers Conference has run a survey which shows that the number of game developers moving from hardcore game consoles to mobile devices has significantly increased. Nowadays, game developers are spending more time on independent project for tablets and mobile.

In the survey, 2,500 North American game developers were polled and the numbers clearly showed that there is a massive movement towards indie projects. About 53% of those who responded to the survey saw themselves as independent developers and the majority said they moved to independent project for less than 2 years now.

Proportions have shown that in every 10 independent developer 4 were coming out of AAA Studios. Henry Smith can be seen as an example of game developer who quit the game studio BioWare last year and now has successfully created a popular game on the iOS platform called Spaceteam. Another example is the case of the team behind Temple Run mobile who quit their software developing day job and created their own studio “Imangi Studio”. The statistics have also shown that only one fifth of the independent developers are working with a gaming publishers to get the game out in the market.

The future of games is mobile
Out of the 2,500 game developers that responded to the survey, 38% admitted that their last gaming project was on mobile. That said, more than half (58%) said their next project is going to be launched on mobile platform. Most of the developers clearly showed an interest in the iOS platform with 90% of them already working on a game for the App store.

Aside the iOS the second platform of interest to the developers was Android. In every 4 developers 3 did consider coming up with Android games in the future. This is probably due to the increase in popularity of the Android OS and also the upcoming launch of a dedicated gaming console, the OUYA and GameStick that can be played on TV.

When it comes to mobile, the Windows platform has not managed to attract that many developer with only 15% of them considering it for a future project.

If you put the mobile platforms aside, there is still hope for the PC and Mac games. Game developers have a keen interest in the Steam project and intend to work on projects that are going to be launched on that platform. About 48% of the developers stated they are currently working on something for the PC.

For the hardcore gaming consoles like Playstation and Xbox, only one eighth of the survey respondents had plans to develop for those. This is explained by the fact that it requires more work and resources to launch games on those platforms.

Where does the funding comes from?
Based on the responses collected in the survey, 37% of the game developers said they got their funding from the companies they were working for while another similar percentage of developers said to have got the initial funding from their own pocket.

It might not look good for companies like Zynga, THQ and Junction Point Studios who have reached a point where they intend to reduce their staff but from the survey, other gaming companies are doing well. At least 44% of the responded said their game company increased their staff while 12% admitted there was a reduction in the number of employees.

The creators of this survey said they intend to reproduce a similar poll every year to see how changes in the gaming industry occur year after year.

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