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Survey: Vive, PSVR dev interest rises sharply in Europe

The 2016 GDC Europe State of the Industry report shows increased interest in VR as a whole, and a notable jump in developers working on the HTC Vive.

In an effort to better understand the state of the European game industry ahead of GDC Europe, Game Developers Conference officials have surveyed over 800 European games industry professionals who have attended a past GDC event.

The data gathered in the full report contains expanded findings on the state of mobile and PC game development in the European games industry, but we've decided to take a moment to highlight the findings regarding VR development in Europe. You can register to download the full report at the GDC Europe State of the Industry hub.

These results show a significant uptick in VR interest year-over-year. In the course of last year’s survey just 33.4 percent of respondents said they were interested in making VR games, placing the platform behind PC/Mac, PlayStation 4, smartphones and tablets in terms of interest. This year more European developers are interested in VR than either smartphones or tablets.

But of course, there are multiple different VR platforms. Which ones are European game industry professional making games for? According to this year’s survey, mostly the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive.

When asked which VR platforms they were currently making games for, 23.1 percent of respondents said the Rift and 22 percent said the Vive. 11.8 percent said the PlayStation VR headset, and it’s important to note that 66.3 percent said they weren’t involved in developing anything for VR/AR headsets.

That’s a big surge in development for the Vive, since last year when we asked the same question just 3.9 percent said they were working on a game for SteamVR. The first and so far only SteamVR headset, of course, has proven to be the HTC Vive.

Meanwhile development for the PSVR rose at a slightly more moderate rate to 11.8%, a number which may shift the closer Sony's virtual reality headset gets to market. 

It’s also important to note that the State of the Industry survey is constantly evolving and improving. Thus, last year’s survey only queried developers on SteamVR, PlayStation VR (then called Project Morpheus), the Oculus Rift and the Gear VR headsets.

For a bit more context on where Europe was at in terms of VR game development last year, 73.4 percent of respondents said they weren’t making any VR/AR games, 22.1 percent said they were working on games for the Oculus Rift, and 7.3 percent said they were making games for Samsung’s Gear VR headset.

Going forward, European game industry opinions on VR development seem to be on an upswing. While the majority of survey respondents (again, 66.3 percent) said they weren’t currently involved in VR development, when asked which VR platforms most interest them right now, just 34.5 percent said “not applicable/none.” 50 percent said the HTC Vive interested them, 34.1 percent said the Rift was of interest and 33.5 percent selected the PlayStation VR headset.

However, confidence in the VR games market seems to have dipped in the last year. When asked whether they believed VR is a long-term sustainable market, 68.8 percent of this year’s respondents said yes. Last year, that figure was 71.7 percent.

Be sure to download the full 2016 GDC Europe State of the Industry report for more information.

Organized by UBM Tech Game Network, GDC Europe 2016 will be held on Monday and Tuesday, August 15th and 16th at the Congress-Centrum Ost in Cologne, Germany, co-located with Europe's video game trade and public show gamescom. One week remains to register before Wednesday, July 20th, at the discounted Early Bird rate.

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