Game devs don’t seem convinced on the Steam Deck from the GDC 2022 survey

The annual game developer survey from GDC is out now for 2022 and it has some interesting insights as usual. That includes thoughts on the upcoming Steam Deck, with it clearly not selling everyone.

Having a little browse through it today and here’s a few things to stuck out to me. For starters, of the ~2,700 developers surveyed about 7% said they are currently developing for Linux. Interestingly, 8% said their next project would be developed for Linux. When it comes to what platform developers are most interested in, Linux sat at 7%. As expected all three of those saw “PC” as the top platform, which by that they of course mean specifically Windows.

Stadia, Google’s once promising cloud gaming solution doesn’t seem to be really getting any love with it seeing 3-5% in those same questions. Streaming just doesn’t seem all that popular with developers, with even Xbox Project xCloud (now just called Xbox Cloud Gaming) also seeing pretty low percentage interest from developers.

Browser-based gaming is here to stay though, as according to the survey it seems 9-11% of developers are currently doing it or planning to do it.

What about the Steam Deck though? The question posed was “Do you think Valve Software’s Steam Deck will be a viable game platform in the long term?” and only 36% said yes with 17% saying no and the rest unsure. Some of the developer comments were interesting on the Steam Deck ranging from excitement about “a product gamers have wanted for a long time” to saying they “don’t think it will deliver anything revolutionary that isn’t currently being delivered by the Switch”.

The Steam Deck is interesting, as any developer / publisher we’ve seen actually receive a devkit unit has been practically universally praising the device. Seeing is truly believing then.

How about VR? Well, the majority (40%) are currently developing for Oculus devices. Interest seems reasonable for the Valve Index and HTC Vive, which support Linux, as 20% said the were currently developing for those. The VR market does not sound healthy from the responses though, with an increasing amount of developers who previously worked on VR now not working on any games.

A divisive one is NFTs and the (good) news there is that 70% of developers said they were not interested, with only 21% being “somewhat interested” and 7% being “very interested” and 1% already using them. Some of the responses there made me laugh ranging from it’s “the wave of the future” to the blunt “How this hasn’t been identified as a pyramid scheme is beyond me”.

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