State of the Industry: Developer stats that were too weird to publish
Recently we released a State of the Industry report in conjunction with GDC, which took survey results from over 2,000 developers that attended GDC over the last three years. Most of that data covered the big trends – VR and eSports are up, mobile is settling in and is no longer a boom town, that sort of thing. (Download the full State of the Industry report here, for free.)
But we also grabbed hold of a lot of other, less predictable data. Who's still making PSP games? Is the 360 still viable? What's up with Linux? These stats didn't make it into the report, but they're fun to think about, and so we've reported them here separately.
Keep in mind when reading these: The margin for error on the entire report was plus or minus 3%. That means most of these stats could be completely wrong – most of them are below 3% after all, and that's why they're not in the full report. But they could also be right!
And it's fun to think about who these rogue developers might be, out there, silently toiling away on their next big game for the original PSP. And do keep in mind – since we polled more than 2,000 developers, even the tiniest of statistics represent a not-insignificant number of people. Now, on to the stats.
The live platforms
There are a few platforms in our survey that are either on the way out or much smaller than the others, but are still actively being developed for. Linux, for example, is many developers' platform of choice. But how many developers? Turns out this year only 6.3% of developers are currently making a game for Linux, compared to 7.8% last year. And only 5.8% plan for their next game to target Linux.
The 360 and PS3 are still hanging in there, with 4.6% and 4% of developers targeting those platforms for their current release, respectively. More surprisingly, 3.2% (360) and 2.8% (PS3) plan to release their next game for those platforms as well.
Blackberry RIM is still clinging to life, as that company shifts its business model in the modern landscape. 0.7% of developers say they're making games for Blackberry's OS. Hang in there, folks!!
The dormant platforms
Speaking of under-used platforms, a shockingly high 1.4% of developers say they're making a game for PlayStation Mobile, currently. This is particularly surprising to me as the director of a company that released one of the last PlayStation Mobile games ever, before the platform shut down forever. But I am inclined to cautiously believe this number, because I know several developers whose games weren't finished before the platform went down, and they may be finishing it in the PSM SDK before bringing it elsewhere. That's all I can figure!
Nintendo has a couple extremely-popular-in-their-time-but-now-out-of-date platforms on our list. 0.4% of developers said they are currently working on a game for the original Wii, and even more curious, 0.6% said their next game is coming to the Wii. Being realistic, my best guess is these folks didn't read carefully enough to see they weren't clicking “Wii U.” But my fingers are crossed for the first new Wii game since Rodea: The Sky Soldier!
Likewise, I'm guessing there was a similar mistake when 0.2% of developers said they're currently making a game for the original Nintendo DS. Even more (0.4%) said their next game is coming to the DS. In the case of the DS vs the Wii, though, it's perhaps a bit more possible that these are homebrew or hobbyist developers.
As a final handheld-related stat, 0.3% of developers said they were currently making a game for the original PSP (pictured.) And once again, even more (0.5%) said their next game will come to that dormant platform. Did these folks mean they were making games for the Vita, and they missed a checkbox? Or are we going to see a next round of PSP Minis? (Or maybe some Japanese devs got into our North American survey with their Otome visual novels?) Cross your fingers, friends! I'll be waiting by the mailbox for my UMD to arrive.