[DZone Research] Game Devs and Gamer Preferences

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[DZone Research] Game Devs and Gamer Preferences

A quick discussion of game development as a career, as well as the platforms and games both gamers and game devs prefer.

· Web Dev Zone ·
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This article is part of the Key Research Findings from the 2018 DZone Guide to Game Development: Building Immersive Worlds.


For our 2018 Guide to Game Development, we surveyed 476 software professionals on various surrounding the practice and craft of game development. In this post, we focus on the data around whether respondents consider themselves professional or hobbyist game developers and the types of games respondents prefer to play and make. 

Game Developers 

Only 2% of survey respondents said they are currently developing games as part of their core job responsibilities, with an additional 1% of respondents saying that game development used to be their career. Another 19% of respondents are developing (9%) or have developed (10%) games in their spare time. 83% of these spare time developers say they have developed games for personal enjoyment, while only 15% say they have ever tried to commercially distribute their games. Considering that 87% of respondents say they are currently developing web applications/services or enterprise business apps, the lack of respondents who consider themselves “professional game developers” is unsurprising. Furthermore, “game developer” is often a more nebulous term than the developers, engineers, and architects who make up the majority of DZone’s survey respondents. The title of game developer can include “…artists and game designers as well as engineers…”, and even hobbyists depending on how the description is being defined [Fuller]. And game dev can be a great way for amateur and expert coders alike to sharpen or expand their skills, so it’s also unsurprising that the majority of respondents (69%) have spent time or are interested in spending time developing games, even it's just for “personal enjoyment.”

Gamer Preferences and Game Dev Interest

Many more survey respondents (75%) say they play video games than develop them. Most gamers among respondents own and play games on Windows PCs (71%) and Android devices (57%), over the iOS mobile platform (24%); dedicated gaming platforms like the PlayStation 4 (30%) and XBox One (12%); and other personal computer platforms – Mac (18%) and Linux (15%). Respondents who develop/have developed games have done so mostly on Windows PCs (65%) and Android (50%). Game players are most interested in action games (52%), and strategy games (49%), followed by puzzle games, role-playing games, first-person shooters, and sports games, which all garnered between 32%-35% of responses. As far as developers interested in game dev go, strategy games (58%) and action games (52%) are at the top of the list regarding the types of games these respondents are interested in developing, while puzzle games (40%) and RPGs (38%) follow. Those respondents who are developing or have developed games mostly developed puzzle (44%), action (36%), or strategy (29%) games. 


In a study by WePC, it was found that 53% of game devs develop for PC and Mac (i.e. desktop games), 38% developer for mobile platforms, and 52% developer for gaming consoles (27% for PS4, 22% for XBox One, and 3% for the Switch). These numbers, by-and-large, seem to support the findings of our own Game Development survey. 

For those game devs out there, do these numbers correlate with your own personal experiences in the industry?

Additional Sources

This article is part of the Key Research Findings from the 2018 DZone Guide to Game Development: Building Immersive Worlds.

dzone research, game dev, game development, mobile application development, web dev

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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