The organizers of the Game Developers Conference conducted their annual survey on the state of the gaming industry. The research results reflect developers’ opinions on topics such as the use of neural networks, mass layoffs, and more.

Who was surveyed?

For the survey, organizers reached out to three thousand gaming industry professionals. Looking at their experience, 62% of them have been in game development for over five years. While the majority are engaged in game design, programming, and management, the survey also included participation from advertising specialists, sound directors, artists, and more. Regarding companies, 32% of respondents work in indie studios, 18% in AAA studios, 11% in AA studios, and 7% are freelancers.


Organizers asked respondents which platforms they are currently developing projects for and which platforms they are most interested in. As in previous years, PC remains the leading platform.

Notably, the unannounced Switch 2 garnered 8% in the initial survey and rose to 32% in the second. This suggests that developers confirm they are already creating games for Nintendo’s next console, even though the company denies its existence.

It’s also worth mentioning that developers show more interest in PlayStation 5 (41%) compared to Xbox Series. Detailed results, considering that respondents could choose multiple answers, are provided below.


In the arena of game engines, Unreal Engine and Unity continue to be the top two favorites, each with 33% when developers were asked about the engine they are using for their current projects. Interestingly, Unity’s position did not decline even after a notable scandal regarding the download count fee.

In popularity, custom engines from studios secured the third spot with 14%. The open-source Godot engine gained the attention of 3% of surveyed developers.

Survey organizers also noted that 7% of developers switched engines in the past year, while 28% discussed such a move for the current year. In most cases, the discussion revolved around moving away from Unity and Unreal Engine towards Godot.

VR Segment

Among the surveyed developers, only 53% are working on games that will utilize virtual or augmented reality. The leading platform in this segment is Meta Quest (34%), followed by Valve’s headset with 26%. Sony’s headset closes the top three with 15%.

Interestingly, developers are currently more interested in Apple Vision Pro glasses than PlayStation VR2.

Neural Networks

Neural networks or generative artificial intelligence are currently a central topic of discussion in the industry. Of the respondents, 31% personally use these tools, and an additional 18% have seen their colleagues use them.

The survey delved into the specific areas where neural networks are most frequently utilized. The most popular response was “Business and Finance” (44%). Studios seem less interested in tools for generating images and sounds, with “Visual Art” and “Sound” garnering 16% and 14%, respectively. However, it’s evident that marketers within studios actively utilize these functions.

Additionally, 84% of respondents expressed concern about the ethical implications of using neural networks. The report includes several anonymous quotes, with some developers acknowledging the need for generative AI to automate routine processes, while others simply express a dislike for these technologies.

Business Model

Respondents were also questioned about the monetization methods for the projects they are currently working on. The most popular response was “Premium-class Digital Game” (51%), where developers note projects that need to be purchased once in digital stores.

On the second spot are “Free-to-Play” projects (32%). The following positions are shared by auxiliary revenue methods, such as selling DLC (24%), physical copies (21%), in-game items (21%), and in-game currency (19%).

Organizers highlighted that developers still hesitate to use blockchain technologies for monetization and premium subscription models, similar to Fallout 76.


Another significant theme from the past year is layoffs. According to the survey, one-third of respondents experienced layoffs in their studio or lost their jobs personally. The ongoing series of restructurings has undermined developers’ confidence in the future, with 56% expressing concern about potential layoffs in their companies in the coming year.

Below are a few anonymous quotes from the report, illustrating developers’ opinions on the reasons for layoffs and their perspectives.

During the pandemic, studios grew too quickly. Now, amidst the cost of living crisis, people spend less money on games. Unfortunately, the bubble has burst. I hope new startups will emerge soon, changing the game development process forever, and larger studios will follow suit.

I hope all this leads to people being more willing to unite in unions. If employers don’t face resistance, we’ll see even more mass layoffs.

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