The hot console topic of 2017 for the games industry may have been about the mid-generation, but this year the focus is on Nintendo — specifically, the Nintendo Switch. According to the latest annual survey from the Game Developers Conference, now that the Switch is a proven hit, more developers are interested this year in creating games for Nintendo’s tablet.
Organizers polled nearly 4,000 developers, who say they have a growing interest in Nintendo’s newest console. Thirty-six percent of respondents, when asked which platforms they were the most interested in, said the Nintendo Switch. That puts the console above the Xbox One (28 percent), but still below the PS4 (39 percent) and PC platforms (59 percent).
Furthermore, developers say their games sell as well (23 percent) or better (28 percent) on the Switch as other consoles — a point worth noting since the install base for the Switch is smaller than that of its competitors. About 12 percent say they’re currently developing games for the platform (that’s up from three percent last year). And 15 percent of developers say they plan to release their next game on the platform, as opposed to five percent in 2017.
The big caveat to consider with all of this information is how new the Nintendo Switch still is compared to its competition. Whether enthusiasm for the platform will hold in the years to come remains to be seen. As of December 2017, however, more than 10 million consoles have been sold. The company continues to pursue more outlandish avenues than its competitors; just last week, Nintendo announced a series of DIY cardboard toys for the Switch.
The full results are available online. The survey also includes a few other findings to note:
- Despite the controversy surrounding loot crates, 11 percent of respondents, or about one in 10 developers, are working on a game with a monetization strategy that uses loot boxes.
- PC and mobile are still the most popular platforms for gamemakers, but development is slipping in the latter: 32 percent of respondents say their game is headed to mobile, vs 35 percent in 2017.
- Interest in VR is waning. Respondents were asked for the third consecutive year if they believed AR/VR could be a sustainable, long-term business; 29 percent of respondents said “no,” as opposed to past years of roughly 25 percent.