Ahead of GDC 2024, a survey to assess the current situation of the gaming industry was done. Compared to last year, the answers were quite different. The survey touched on many topics, including the type of company, Generative AI, and many more.
The survey included over 3,000 game developers about their work and how it has been affected after multiple lay-offs, acquisitions and advancements in AI. Here’s a quick look at what the developers think about recent changes in the video game industry.
Time spent and role demographic
A majority of the developers have spent 3–10 years in the industry. As for the roles, 34% were part of game design, while the other 33% were involved in programming. 31% were from Team Management and 19% worked in visual arts.
A few were also involved in other sections like marketing, PR, QA, Writing, etc. Do note that one person can be involved in several works in game development.
Studio type and game engine
A majority of the developers (32%) were working at an Indie Studio, followed by AAA and AA studio, sharing the same demographic of around 10%. Other included freelancers, Consulting and Co-Development Team.
As for game engines, Unreal Engine and Unity shared the same usage at 33% each, despite the Unity blunder last year. Almost 50% of the studios did not consider switching game engines.
Talking about the use of AI, it seems most of the companies either do not have any policy yet, or is optional. While 31% say they use some form of Generative AI, 23% do not have any interest.
Most of the usage currently seems to be outside game development, for now. This includes 44% in Business & Finance and 41% in Marketing/PR. Game Design is currently using 21%, however, it is likely to increase as gaming companies plan to push AI this year.
Developers currently cannot decide if AI will be beneficial or not. Most of them believe that companies will try to cut corners and salaries by using AI, which will result in more layoffs.
However, some believe they can help the developers in activities that take up unnecessary timing like rigging, UV mapping assets and more. “Completely replacing someone’s job is a genuine concern. It should be used to enhance capabilities, not reduce the workforce,” the devs believe.