Train2Game News VR audience survey

Steel Media has completed a survey of its audience on new specialist VR site TheVirtualReport.biz. 
Highlights of the report have been provided ahead of the report’s full release alongside Steel Media’s flagship event in London. The biggest mobile gaming conference in Europe, Pocket Gamer Connects London, takes place 16-17th January 2017 and incorporates VR Connects, a dedicated area for the VR industry.

The survey highlights provide key insight into the future of this rapidly expanding sector. The VR and AR industry is looking forward to 2017 despite some apprehensions. Over 62% predicted a positive or very positive outlook for VR this year. Only 16.13% had doubts due to Brexit. Adoption of the latest tech is being fuelled by indie developers working with VR and AR, but the industry is calling on government to safeguard its future.

Lack of investment in UK, or a skills shortage, were considered the two most likely threats to the VR business caused by Brexit. Uncertain consumer interest in VR was considered the biggest current threat generally, said 60% of those who took part. Government investment in tech R&D was the biggest factor which 46% of those surveyed thought would help the UK stay at the forefront of VR development.

Many of those surveyed have yet to release a VR product, almost 50% have been operating for under two years and most have under $20,000 in development budget. Of those that disclosed their expectations, the majority expected their 2016 profits to be 5% or less, although almost 34% expected this to be more than 2015.

There are key hardware players at the forefront of VR and AR who respondents are working with. HTC Vive, with 63%, was seen as most important, closely followed by Oculus Rift with 55%. Mobile VR also featured significantly, with Google’s platforms Android/Daydream (53%) and Samsung Gear VR (52%) taking the third and fourth slots.

117 VR industry professionals took part in the survey, Developers were the largest group who took part at 55%. The majority of those surveyed were from: Europe (41%), UK (16%) and US and Canada (26%).

Chris James, Managing Director, Steel Media:  “The games industry in the UK is vital to the British economy. Mobile continues to be a successful business area. And our research now shows that developers see huge potential in VR and AR. It’s interesting that any doubt in 2016 came not from Brexit but from the need for education and investment. We’ve launched our new event VR Connects alongside our hugely successful mobile event, and continue to grow our website TheVirtualReport.biz, to support this growing sector. This is just the beginning!”

The survey took place on the TheVirtualReport.biz, giving insight from VR professionals operating in the games industry. The survey was completed in tandem with a survey of the mobile games industry on PocketGamer.biz. The full results of both surveys will be available online to coincide with the launch of the biggest mobile gaming industry event in Europe,

Pocket Gamer Connects London, and its sister event VR Connects London, take place on the 16th and 17th of January at The Brewery on Chiswell Street. Some tickets to the event are still available at the time of writing. Over 74% of people surveyed said they considered networking opportunities to be the deciding factor on whether to attend an event or not; for this reason PG Connects and VR Connects has a dedicated Pitch & Match meeting system, two SpeedMatch sessions, the Very Big Indie Pitch and VR Indie Pitch for showcasing projects and more, including the hugely popular Global Connects party.

More information can be found at http://www.vr-connects.com/london and http://www.pgconnects.com/london

Train2Game News GDC Industry Survey Results

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The Game Developers Conference® (GDC) has released the fourth annual State of the Industry Survey, revealing trends in the games industry based on the feedback of more than 2,000 North American game developers ahead of GDC 2016 in March.

The survey has revealed that development of Virtual Reality (VR) titles has more than doubled among participating developers with 16 percent currently developing for VR, up from the 7 percent of developers were working on VR projects in last year’s survey.

The 2016 State of the Industry Survey marks the fourth entry in the ongoing series of yearly reports and serves as a snapshot of the games industry and illustrates industry trends ahead of GDC 2016 in San Francisco. Organized by the UBM Tech Game Network, GDC 2016 takes place March 14th-18th at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California.

VR’s popularity is growing fast, but PC and mobile are still the top platforms among developers

The emergence of upcoming Virtual Reality (VR) devices like Oculus Rift, Sony’s PlayStation VR and Samsung’s Gear VR, among others, has proven to be alluring for developers on the bleeding edge, with the survey revealing that development of VR titles has more than doubled among participating developers. This year’s survey has shown that 16 percent of developers are currently creating titles for VR, up from the 7 percent of developers who replied in the affirmative in last year’s survey. Projecting further into the future, 15 percent of participating developers have affirmed that their next game will incorporate VR, up from the 6 percent who affirmed their VR ambitions last year.

The platform wars continue unabated, with 52 percent of developers currently working on a game for PC, down from 56 percent from last year. 44 percent of developers are currently working on smartphone and tablet games, down from the 50 percent of developers working on these titles last year.

The consoles continue to be popular platforms for developers, with 27 percent of respondents affirming ongoing work on a title for PlayStation 4, compared to 26 percent last year. The Xbox One has revealed a similarly consistent level of development, with 23 percent of developers working on Xbox One, up from 22 percent last year.  Developer interest in Nintendo platforms have dipped slightly since last year, with 5 percent of respondents affirming that they are working on Wii U projects, down from 6 percent last year. 2 percent of developers have stated that they are working on titles for 3DS, compared to 3 percent in the previous year.

Most game makers believe VR/AR is a sustainable business, but 27 percent don’t believe VR/AR device adoption will ever match current console install-base

Still in its infancy, the current generation of VR/AR platforms has garnered strong developer confidence, with 75% of respondents agreeing that VR/AR is a long-term sustainable business to be in.

Despite this growing confidence, developers disagree on the future sales rates for these devices. When asked when they believe VR/AR devices will exceed the adoption rate (roughly 40 percent) of game consoles in the U.S. in 2015, 27 percent of respondents said they didn’t believe VR/AR hardware would ever surpass that level of adoption. Just 1 percent of those surveyed said they expected it to happen by 2018, the earliest time period available for selection. 44 percent of respondents expected it to happen by 2026, and a total of 54 percent believed it would happen by 2030.

In a separate, more conservative VR/AR install base question, 38 percent of respondents predicted that VR/AR hardware would be in 10 percent of U.S. households by 2020. 86 percent figure it’ll happen by 2030, and roughly 9 percent figure it will never happen.
       
Nearly 90 percent of developers believe that eSports is a sustainable, long-term business

As competitive gaming enters the mainstream consciousness, the developer survey reflects a growing confidence in eSports. 88 percent of developer respondents have affirmed their confidence in the sustainability of long-term business of eSports. This represents an 8 percent jump from the 79 percent of respondents who affirmed the same position last year.

The full survey results also reflected developer confidence in VR/AR, with 75 percent of respondents agreeing that the emerging technologies represented a sustainable business to be in. On the mobile front, Android and iOS are now neck and neck in ongoing app development, with 55 percent of respondents making Android games and 56 percent saying they are making games for the iOS. For the survey participants, self-publishing was still the predominant means of distributing titles, with 57 percent of responding developers working without a publisher, versus 24 percent who are (20 percent said they work at a publisher).

A more detailed analysis of the survey can be found at http://www.gdconf.com/news/ . For more information about the 2016 Game Developers Conference or to register online, visit www.gdconf.com

Train2Game News State of the industry survey

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The Game Developers Conference (GDC) has polled more than 2,000 North American game developers who attended GDC 2014 to compose the third annual State of the Industry Survey, which provides a snapshot of the games industry and illustrates industry trends ahead of GDC 2015 in March.

Notable trends shown in the poll results include console development on the rise, digital and microtransaction sales dominating profits, and other trends that offer a glimpse into the future landscape of the games industry.

The 2015 State of the Industry Survey is the third in an ongoing series of yearly reports that offer insight into the shape of the industry as a prelude to GDC 2015 in San Francisco. Organized by the UBM Tech Game Network, GDC 2015 will take place March 2-6 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California.

As the latest generation of console hardware matures, a larger percentage of developers are moving to make games for Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One, compared to last year. 26 percent of developers surveyed said they’re currently working on a PlayStation 4 game, up from 14 percent last year, while 22 percent said they’re currently working on an Xbox One game, up from last year’s 12 percent (note that games often are developed across multiple platforms).

But PC and mobile still reign in terms of platform popularity; 56 percent of survey respondents said their current game will be released on PC and 50 percent said their current project will release on smartphones or tablets, as compared to 53 and 52 percent (respectively) a year prior.

Looking ahead, 29 percent of developers surveyed said they expect their next game to be on PlayStation 4, and 24 percent of respondents expected it to be on Xbox One, compared to 20 percent and 17 percent, respectively, of those surveyed last year.

Interest in mobile development slipped slightly, according to the survey; while 53 percent of those polled think their next game will be released on PC, 48 percent expect to release on smartphones or tablets.

In an effort to suss out where developers do their best business, this year’s survey included a question about where respondents make the majority of their profits. 29 percent said they made most of their profits from direct sales to consumers or digital sales, while 21 percent named micro-transactions as their primary source of profit.

Just 13 percent of those surveyed said they saw the majority of their company’s profits from sales at retail. 19 percent said they saw no profits, were non-profit or didn’t know where the majority of their profit came from.
        
Those surveyed were also asked how their company’s profits last year compared to the year prior. 41 percent said profits were higher in 2014, and 9 percent said profits were higher in 2013, while 20 percent said profits remained the same year-over-year. 28 percent admitted they weren’t sure.

Survey respondents were also asked whether or not their company expanded or contracted during 2014 in terms of staff; 44 percent said their ranks had swelled during the year, while 15 percent said they lost people. 1 percent said their company closed entirely and 38 percent confirmed their headcount remained the same throughout 2014.

12 percent of developers surveyed said they’re working on a game they consider to be an eSport – competitive, skill-based multiplayer games. 79 percent of all respondents said they perceive eSports to be a long-term, sustainable business.

“Twitch is making broadcasting competitions very accessible, and high-profile events like Evo are getting more and more attention,” wrote one developer.

“Creating a game as an eSport causes it to become a hobby and an interest outside the act of playing it,” wrote another. “This increased engagement is one way of allowing a game to become part of a player’s life in ways that [don’t] require them to always be investing their time into playing it.”

For more information about the 2015 Game Developers Conference visit www.gdconf.com

Train2Game News GDC Next survey results

GDC NextThe Game Developers Conference (GDC) Next 2014 has released the results of the first annual Game Discovery Survey, which has uncovered emerging trends and attitudes from a pool of game industry professionals on launching and popularizing games.

Among the many trends revealed in the survey is the finding that first party platform holders and YouTube personalities are seen as the most effective forms of publicity among participating developers.

The GDC Next 2014 Game Discovery Survey was created by UBM Tech Game Network, organizers of the Game Developers Conference, to better understand the contemporary game industry before the start of GDC Next 2014.

Platform gatekeepers and popular YouTubers are seen to be the most effective publicity for games. YouTube has long been viewed as a powerful tool in publicizing new releases, and the survey now reveals that developers view YouTube personalities, along with first party platform holders, as the most effective avenues for publicity.

Specifically, being featured on digital storefronts like Steam or PlayStation Network, coupled with extensive video playthroughs on YouTube were seen as most positively affecting product visibility. 36.6% of respondents seeing platform holders as the most effective publicity, with popular YouTube personalities capturing 24.8% of responses. By comparison, community engagement and being featured on a popular video game website received 15.6% and 14.5% of responses, respectively.

Elsewhere, the majority of participating developers (73.4%) agreed with the statement “platform holders aren’t doing enough to improve discoverability on digital storefronts.” These results suggest that platform holders can do more to meet the needs of game makers, potentially finding more personalized recommendation methods for consumers.

Developers are largely split between traditional press and YouTube personalities as most trustworthy however. Despite an increasing priority towards prominent YouTube video features, developers surveyed were found to be largely split when asked whose opinion on games they trusted the most, YouTubers or traditional press/media. YouTube personalities narrowly won out with 55.75% of votes versus the traditional press, which received 44.25% of responses.

Is it the game, the promotion, or both that makes a title shine commercially? 69.3% of developers agreed that good promotion and making a good game were equally important to success, with 23% responding that making a good game was more important to success than promoting it well. Only 7.7% of respondents felt that good promotion is more important than game quality when it comes to achieving commercial success.

The GDC Next 2014 Game Discovery Survey tabulates the responses and observations of more than 300 game industry professionals/

For more information on GDC Next, please visit http://www.gdcnext.com/