In preparation for the Game Developers Conference in March, almost 4,000 game developers were surveyed on a myriad of different topics pertaining to the gaming industry. Their report, which is the seventh in a yearly series, was recently released and touched upon some interesting topics such as potential unionization of developers, hours worked on games, and even added fuel to the age-old fire: console vs PC. You can download the full report for free here.
One of the more interesting topics covered was the developers’ feelings on possible unionization. When asked if game developers should unionize, 47% said yes, with only 16% saying no. The other 37% were either on the fence about the topic or had no opinion on the matter.
When asked if they thought unionization was an inevitability, the general consensus was maybe (39%), with slightly more taking a firm stance that it wouldn’t happen (24%) rather than would at some point (21%).
Another hot-button topic in the industry is just how much time game developers put into their games on a weekly basis during development. The survey reports that while stories surface about insane work-weeks, the most recent of note were the developers of Red Dead Redemption 2 putting in 100+ hour weeks, most developers average around 36-40 hours a week (24%). When asked the maximum number of hours worked in one week on a game in the past year, only 2% of respondents claimed to have worked over 100 hours in a single week.
While it would be very easy to blame the boss for the crazier weeks during development, most developers claimed self-motivation was the reason they worked so hard and put so much time into their respective games (33%). In fact, only 10% of developers said that they worked maximum hours due to pressure from up top, and another 10% said it was because they saw their co-workers pulling long hours, so they felt the need to as well. Hilariously, some developers even claimed that they did not even know why they worked such long hours or even considered the hours they worked excessive (12% and 28% respectively).
Developers were also asked about their recent and future releases in terms of platforms. Unsurprisingly, most devs claimed that their most recent release was for PC (56%), their next release still in development would be for PC (66%), and that PC was the most interesting platform right now (60%). The runner up for the most interesting platform, however, was the Nintendo Switch (45%). With many popular games porting to Switch, such as Diablo 3 and Wolfenstein 2, it’s not shocking that developers are interested in the portable console.
The full report goes into so much more detail as well as hits upon many more topics, so those interested in game development or the future of the industry as a whole should definitely check it out. The Game Developers Conference is also coming up in a few months, March 18-22, so be sure to keep tabs on that as well via their website.