Game Developers Conference (GDC) Survey Reveals Impact of COVID-19 on the Video Game Industry

This is some really valuable information for those who work in the industry.

Game Developers Conference (GDC) Survey Reveals Impact of COVID-19

on the Video Game Industry

Survey of Nearly 2,500 Game Developers Shows How Industry is Coping with the Business Impact of COVID, and its Toll on Quality of Life, Productivity, and Mental Health.

View the Full Survey Results Here

San Francisco – July 16, 2020 – Informa Tech, the organizers of the Game Developers Conference (GDC) has released the results of a special survey of nearly 2,500 game developers which provides a snapshot of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the game industry. The results come in advance of the upcoming all-digital GDC Summer, which takes place August 4-6.

Some of the most notable trends highlighted in the survey include nearly half reporting longer working hours and less productivity than before the pandemic. The survey, which focuses on how game developers are adapting to COVID-19, is the latest in an ongoing series of regular reports during the past eight years that offer insight into the shape of the industry as a prelude to GDC.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected the business of a majority of game developers, with some seeing upticks even as others suffer significant business downturns

When asked about how the pandemic has affected their overall business, 34% said they saw business decline, 37% said it remained about the same, and 31% said they saw business increase. While less than 10% of developers have been laid off or furloughed due to COVID-19, 26% of respondents said that their household income has fallen due to the pandemic.

As businesses closed due to COVID-19, 70% of respondents said they switched to working from home, while 27% of all respondents reported that they had already worked from home before the pandemic. COVID-19 also had a tangible effect on the release schedule of games, with one in three developers (33%) reporting that their games were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 has taken a toll on quality of life, productivity, mental and emotional health for game developers

Poor communication, isolation, and lack of access to critical tools are some of the common challenges devs are dealing with right now. Nearly half of game makers feel working from home has lowered their productivity and 1/3 of developers said they’ve experienced a decrease in creativity while working from home. While productivity and creativity may have decreased for many developers, the amount of hours worked has increased for nearly half of all the developer respondents.

Game makers say isolation, lack of communication, deteriorating work/life balance, and childcare demands are some of the most difficult parts of working from home. Despite these issues, only 1/10 of developers feel safe going back to work in an office right now.

The full survey, which includes more detail on the impact of the pandemic on the video game industry, can be downloaded for free here.

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