GDC State of the Industry: Most devs think mobile VR/AR is the future

We continue our deep dive into the survey findings to gauge where game developers feel the future of VR/AR is headed, and -- just out of curiousity -- how often they feel sick or nauseous in VR.

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.

Last week we pointed out how the survey results suggest game developers are feeling optimistic about Nintendo’s upcoming Switch console, and 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.

Now we continue our deep dive into the survey findings to gauge where game developers feel the future of VR/AR is headed, and -- just out of curiousity -- how often they feel sick or nauseous in VR.

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.

Looking ahead, most devs think mobile VR/AR (and AR specifically) is the future

The lion’s share of devs think the VR/AR industry is trending towards mobile AR/VR -- and just AR specifically.

When asked which would be the dominant immersive reality tech in five years, mobile vs. PC/Console VR/AR, 33 percent of respondents said mobile. 31 percent said PC/Console, and 17 percent said PC/Console and mobile VR/AR tech would be equally popular in five years’ time. Eight percent said neither would be important, and 12 percent admitted they didn’t know.

Looking ahead even further -- 20 years, to be exact -- we asked respondents whether they thought VR or AR would be the dominant immersive reality tech. 43 percent said AR, 21 percent figured VR and AR tech would be equally popular, and 19 percent predicted VR would prove more popular. 12 percent said they didn’t know, and 5 percent said neither VR nor AR would be important in 20 years.

Most devs get sick or unsettled in VR, but less than 10 percent are always uncomfortable in VR

We also thought it would be interesting to find out how our respondents handled the experience of being in VR, since it can sometimes be unsettling or nauseating. When asked how they experience discomfort and/or motion sickness in VR, 9 percent said during all VR experiences; 17 percent said never. 43 percent said they felt motion sick or discomforted during some VR experiences, and 31 percent said they only felt it very rarely.

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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