The organizers of the 2019 Game Developers Conference (GDC) conducted their annual State of the Industry Survey, and revealed some interesting trends in the industry.
The GDC survey, which compiles responses from a variety of 4,000 game developers, came back with nearly half of developers coming out in support of game industry unionization. Additionally, the majority of developers believe that Steam is no longer able to justify its revenue share, and an overwhelming portion of creators (nearly half) have indeed worked overtime hours during "crunch" periods.
While there were a long list of revelations to be culled from the survey, most of the focus revolves around unionization, which is indeed a hot topic. Of the developers surveyed, 47 percent said yes, 26 percent said maybe, 16 percent said no, and 11 percent didn't know. When asked if they think it would actually happen, however, the numbers were less certain. Only 21 percent of developers think a union is actually in the cards, while 39 percent said "maybe." A slice of developers, 24 percent to be exact, said they won't think it's going to happen.
“It is critical that people who work in games are able to maintain a healthy lifestyle, live normal lives, and be able to enjoy a high quality of life that will work well for their spouses and families,” said one responder.
“There is too much supply: too many people want into the industry,” said another participant. “Those who unionize will be shoved out of the way as companies hire those with fewer demands.”
In terms of digital storefronts, survey respondents had plenty of thoughts to share on Steam as well as its competitors like the Discord Store and Epic Games Store. Respondents for the survey took the opportunity to disclose which services they utilize, and the most popular answer was Steam at 47 percent. However, the survey also concluded that respondents felt that Steam in its current iteration didn't justify the 30 percent cut the platform takes of revenue.
“Take less revenue from sales and curate their store better for visibility for real games,” wrote one participant when asked how Steam could do a better job in the future for developers and publishers.
You can read the entirety of the survey and its responses if you're so inclined. There's certainly a lot to take in.
Brittany Vincent posted a new article, GDC survey reveals nearly half of devs support unionization
I hope it comes to pass. The industry's biggest players have proven that they will absolutely not self-regulate.