GDC (Game Developers Conference) 2014 takes place from 17th - 21st March in San Francisco, a gathering of thousands of companies and individuals to demonstrate, discuss and debate the current trends and patterns in the development industry. As is the norm, ahead of this year's event the organisers have polled "more than 2,600 North American game developers" on a number of topics to identify the current state of play within that group.
A natural question for these developers to face is which platforms they're targeting with upcoming releases, with the opportunity to select multiple options as appropriate. The table below shows that, at present, the lion's share are focused on smart devices, PC and Mac. In home consoles PS4 and Xbox One lead the way, with the Wii U picked by just 4.42%; the scenario for 3DS is far from pleasing, with just 1.9% actively planning to include Nintendo's current handheld in their next project.
Other highlighted trends aren't particularly surprising. The number of those polled and the increasingly welcome self-publishing options have contributed to 64% saying they are not working with a publisher on their next project. Funding threw up a small surprise, depending on your perspective, as most have stated they are finding the money for their projects from company funds or personal savings, with a modest 10.77% utilising crowdfunding.
That first table showing the comparatively low numbers of those working on Wii U and 3DS projects is a little dispiriting and, to a degree, not too surprising. Like all polls it's not absolute — though it is a large group — but does reflect that, for some, Nintendo's home console is still not quite worth the investment or risk; the 3DS has a tough task due to its relatively isolated and unique setup and architecture. The positive perspective is that Nintendo's handheld is performing well with small numbers of high quality games, while recent weeks and months have shown that download-only developers are warming to the Wii U — welcoming eShop policies along with the Unity licensing and Nintendo Web Framework support are helping. There are, despite these poll results, a promising number of games coming to the home console's eShop, in particular.
With all of that in mind, let us know what you think in the comments below.