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GDC State of the Industry: Under 25% of devs will have a publisher on their next game

GDC State of the Industry: Under 25% of devs will have a publisher on their next game

January 29, 2018 | By Staff




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.

Last week we pointed out how the results (from a survey of nearly 4,000 game industry professionals) suggest game makers are very excited about the Nintendo Switch, and are embracing a variety of business models for their games -- including "loot box" monetization schemes.

With that in mind, today we thought it might be interesting to highlight another notable finding from this year's survey: the fact that over three-quarters of respondents said they weren't working with a publisher on their next game.

Download the 2018 State of the Industry Survey here

The State of the Industry Survey is the sixth entry in the ongoing series of yearly reports and serves as a snapshot of the games industry, illustrating industry trends ahead of GDC 2018. Organized by the UBM Game Network, GDC 2018 takes place March 19-23, alongside the 2017 Virtual Reality Developers Conference (VRDC) March 19-20, both at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California.

Less than a quarter of devs say they're working with a publisher on their next game

To get a sense of how game makers are working to get the word out about their work, we asked survey respondents to tell us which outreach services (if any) they’re using for the release of their next game.

Over a third of respondents (38 percent) said they do marketing work themselves, in addition to working on their game. 34 percent said they paid for full- or part-time help from marketing or public relations professionals who worked internally; just 11 percent said they paid for assistance from an external marketing or PR firm.

Meanwhile, less than a quarter of respondents said they were working with a publisher on their next game.

Specifically, 17 percent said they were working with a publisher who has paid them an advance and will take a percentage of sales, while 6 percent said they were working with a publisher who would take a cut of sales but had not paid them in advance.

It’s interesting to compare these numbers to the results of last year’s survey, when we asked respondents whether they were working with publishers on their current project, and whether they planned to work with publishers in the future. At the time, just 23 percent said they were currently working with a publisher, but 34 percent said they planned to on their next project.

Of course, a more detailed analysis of the survey can be had by downloading the full report yourself

For more information on GDC 2018, visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Americas



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