Gaming industry can be opaque to outsiders. Employees must adhere to confidentiality agreements and keep company secrets safe. The GDC Survey gives an annual overview of the opinions of game makers. 39% of those surveyed stated that they work at an independent studio, while 23% reported that they work at a larger, bigger studio.
According to 14% of respondents, Epic Games’ “Fortnite” is the most likely candidate for metaverse ambitions. Meta and “Minecraft”, each received 7% votes. “Roblox” got 5% fewer votes. But despite these moderate votes of confidence, 45% of respondents—and that’s a plurality—believe that “the metaverse concept will never deliver on its promises.”
An anonymous respondent, whose answers represented a perspective shared by developers, explained the skepticism: “The ‘broken promise’, as it is, is nothing. The people trying it don’t know what it is. Neither do the consumers. Remember what happened and continues to happen with games cloud a decade ago?”
The Washington Post was informed by the poll organizers that the survey didn’t indicate whether the 45% of respondents who were skeptical about metaverse were also employees who had to deal with metaverse-related products.
Alyssa McCallon (publisher and managing editor at Game Developer), who collaborated in the creation of the report, stated, “I don’t think the data goes so deep, but I’d like to know personally.”
Developers were also questioned about blockchain technology, which is a controversial topic in the gaming industry. Only 2% said they have used blockchain technology while 75% said that they are not interested. The majority of respondents (56%) were asked if they had changed their opinions about blockchain technology in games over the last year.
A majority of respondents believe that the trend towards corporate consolidation such as Microsoft’s proposed acquisition Activision Blizzard will have a negative affect on the industry. Only 17% of respondents thought the merger would benefit their industry, while 44% believed it would have a negative impact. An anonymous respondent wrote: “The big ones are getting bigger. Less diversity. Less original. But hey, I think Banjo-Kazooie could show up in ‘Guitar Hero’ now.”
Union support in the industry has remained constant. About 53% of gaming workers believe they should unionize, while 13% say they shouldn’t. Survey respondents were also asked if they had ever discussed unionization with their coworkers. 22% answered yes. Developers with less experience than 15 years were more likely support unions than those who have 16 years or more. Unions were less popular among those with 30 years or more experience.
The industry has also been affected by the “Great Quit,” or the trend of people leaving their jobs in 2022. 36% of developers are open to the idea of switching companies. 81% say they would consider it for better pay.
Developers were also questioned about being harassed and harassed by gamers. 91% of respondents agreed with this statement.
McCallon stated that player harassment and toxicity are not a new problem within the games industry. “But studios have been supporting their developers facing harassment from the community for the past year, and that’s one of the trends we’ve observed.”
From March 20-24, the Game Developers Conference will be held in San Francisco.
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