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Devs increasingly supporting Switch - Survey

GDC poll respondents show rising interest in Nintendo's platform and increasing skepticism about VR and AR; 11% putting loot boxes into their next game

The organizers of the Game Developers Conference today released some results of its annual pre-show developers poll, tracking some broader trends in the industry.

For instance, the group has found developers increasingly interested in Nintendo's Switch console. Last year around this time (a couple months before the system's retail debut), only 3% of polled developers were working on Switch, with just 5% planning to make their next game for the system. This year, 12% are currently creating games for Switch, while 15% expect their next game to appear on the Switch. 36% of developers listed it as among the platforms they're most interested in, making it the third most popular platform behind the PC (59%) and PS4 (39%).

On top of that, a significant number of multiplatform developers (28%) said their games were selling better on the Switch. Another 23% said sales on the system were average, while 16% reported their Switch sales lagging behind those of other consoles.

While Switch support rose, developer interest in virtual reality and augmented showed signs that they could be headed in the opposite direction. 19% of developers said they're making their current game for VR headsets, but only 17% expected to make their next game for those platforms. Last year, those numbers were 24% and 23%, respectively. On top of that, the percentage of developers who believe VR and AR are sustainable long-term businesses fell for the first time in three years, down from 75% to 71%.

The survey also found that one controversial business model, loot boxes, isn't going away soon, with 11% of developers saying their next game would include paid item crates. That still puts loot boxes behind paid downloadable content (23%), in-game item sales (22%), ads (14%), and paid subscriptions (13%) as far as common revenue streams used by developers.

The survey results were compiled from the responses of some 4,000 game developers.

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