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In the latest edition of the Game Developer podcast, we welcomed colleagues from sibling organizations GDC and Omdia—who we all worked with to produce the GDC 2024 State of the Game Industry report. Based on a survey of over 3000 game developers, it asks devs about their experiences on everything from industry layoffs to game engine changes to their feelings on unionization and generative AI, and much more.
Music by Mike Meehan. Produced by Jordan Mallory.
Conglomeration, monetization, and layoff trends in the game industry
In part one, we were joined by Omdia analysts Liam Deane and Dom Tait to dig into the numbers of the report, particularly on monetization, layoffs, and conglomeration in the industry.
“In other parts of my job I look at different areas [of] entertainment, I always feel like music and video would kill for this variety of monetization methods,” said Tait, speaking of the sheer variety of ways games make their money.
“I know that games are quite slow to subscription services in terms of, you know, Netflix and Spotify haven't been around for quite a while, but it almost feels like music and video could learn from games in terms of subscription services rather than the other way around…”
Younger developers are strongly in favor of unionization efforts
In part two, project lead and GDC content marketing manager Beth Elderkin came into the discussion to work through some of the biggest results, including the surprising statistics on unionization. In that section, she noted:
"The thing that really stood out to me with the unionization survey this year... the data was pretty similar to last year. But this year, we were able to look at data segmentation. We were able to break down based on things like gender or how long you've been in the industry, what your what your job role is."
"And for the most part, with unionization, the numbers were pretty consistent, except when it came to the age of the developers. This was actually the first year we asked about age, which I'm very happy we did, because we ended up finding out the surprising information, which was younger developers, for example, 18 to 24, were almost three fourths in favor of unionization. Whereas if you went to the other side of the spectrum, which is I believe, like 60 to 65 or older, it was about one quarter [in favor of unionization]."
Read more about:Top Stories[Trend] UnionizationState of the Game Industry ReportCultureGame Developer Podcast
About the Author(s)
Danielle is the editor-in-chief of Game Developer, with previous editorial posts at Fanbyte, VICE, and Polygon. She’s also a lecturer in game design at the Berklee College of Music, and a hobbyist game developer in her spare time.
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