GDC State of the Industry: Devs explain why their confidence in eSports is rising

Today, the folks at GDC dive even deeper into the 2017 State of the Industry survey results and surface some of the intriguing written responses respondents gave about the state of eSports in 2017.

Results from the fifth annual Game Developers Conference State of the Industry Survey are in, revealing trends in the games industry based on the feedback of more than 4,500 game developers ahead of GDC 2017 in February and March.

Earlier this month we pointed out how survey results suggest game developers are optimistic about Nintendo’s upcoming Switch console, but feel unsure about the prospects of mid-cycle console refreshes like the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox’s “Project Scorpio.” Also, the survey shows that for the first time ever, mobile game devs favor Android over iOS.

We also know that most devs who took our survey think mobile VR/AR is the future, and that most get sick or unsettled in some VR experiences -- but less than 1 in 10 can't handle VR in any form. Today, we dive even deeper into our survey results and surface some of the intriguing written responses respondents gave about the state of eSports in 2017.

Download the 2017 State of the Industry Survey here

The 2017 State of the Industry Survey is the fifth entry in the ongoing series of yearly reports and serves as a snapshot of the games industry and illustrates industry trends ahead of GDC in San Francisco. Organized by the UBM Tech Game Network, GDC 2017 takes place February 27th through March 3rd at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California.

Confidence in eSports as a long-term, sustainable business is rising

We asked our survey respondents whether they thought eSports (games built to be played competitively at a professional level) was a sustainable business, long-term, and 90 percent said yes.

That’s a slight increase from last year, when 88 percent of respondents said yes to the same question. But what's more intriguing are the perspectives some of them shared when asked if they had anything more to add:

“As long as you have a crowd that is big enough to support it, it will go well,” wrote one respondent. “We can see that for many years the interest in eSports is growing. And with more acceptance for video games in social, it could probably go as well as football someday.”    

“As the generation that grew up with eSports matures, games will find a place somewhat like traditional sports,” wrote another. “No longer being the weird outsider, but being an accepted part of what society is and ‘always has been.’”

"As opposed to VR/AR, barrier of entry for consumers is low: All the technology and channels are readily available," added another survey respondent. "It's easier for eSports content to reach audiences, so they have a higher chance to sell their spaces for ads and other monetization methods."

A more detailed analysis of the survey can be found in the GDC 2017 State of the Industry Survey whitepaper. For more information on GDC 2017, visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Americas

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