Home MANGA NEWS 35% of Developers Impacted by Layoffs Last Year, GDC Survey Reveals

35% of Developers Impacted by Layoffs Last Year, GDC Survey Reveals

The Game Developers Conference (GDC) unveiled findings from their “State of the Game Industry Survey,” now in its 12th year, last Thursday. From the responses gathered, it was discovered that over the past year, 35% of game producers had been affected by job cuts (meaning they themselves, their coworkers, or other departments had been let go). Job cuts were particularly noticeable in the quality assurance sector, hitting 22% of staff, whereas business and finance sectors were least hit by layoffs at 2%. The survey took place in October of 2023. A worrying 56% of respondents are apprehensive about the possibility of more layoffs at their companies in the upcoming 12 months.

A key insight from the survey is that game developers’ preferred game engines are Unreal Engine and Unity, with 33% indicating they rely on these as their principal tools.

In a related vein, it was found that 35% of developers have either switched or are contemplating switching game engines.

In a noteworthy event in September, Unity proclaimed the implementation of a “Runtime Fee” to be levied based on game installation numbers. A wave of disgruntlement swept across developers, prompting Unity to eventually retract the decision. Those developers considering a switch of game engines, the survey found, often attributed their potential decision to Unity’s decision-making practices.

Views on AI usage in game development were also gathered from the survey. ‘Somewhat’ or ‘very worried’ about the ethical aspects of using Generative AI was the sentiment expressed by 84% of developers. Developers engaged in narrative, visual arts, and quality assurance more often voiced concerns for how generative AI could negatively affect the industry. On the flip side, nearly half of developers (49%) reported they—or their peers—currently make use of generative AI tools.

As for company policy on generative AI usage, 51% of developers relayed that their employers had established guidelines for its use. While generative AI use was forbidden in the workplaces of 12% of developers, 2% revealed its use was required.

In terms of gaming platforms, PC was the predominant choice for 66% of respondents, followed by the PlayStation 5 at 35%, and then the Xbox Series S at 34%. 8% of developers confirmed they are currently creating games for the forthcoming Nintendo Switch successor, 18% were working on games for the current Switch. The successor console piqued the interest of 32%, making it the most intriguing platform right now.

Inclusion issues in games have been addressed by 48% of game developers. The favored methods of fostering accessibility were closed captioning, control customization, and colorblind-friendly modes.

The survey amassed responses from over 3,000 game developers, probing into their careers and trends in the industry. It was revealed that 35% of respondents were aged 25-34, while 33% were between the ages of 35-44. 65% were white and 69% were male. The majority of participants hailed from North America.

You can attend the upcoming Game Developers Conference this year in San Francisco, scheduled from March 18 to March 22.

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