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

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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 they 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".

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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73 comments
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Eike 21 Jan
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Half of the developers being unsure and more positive than negative is not too shabby in my book.

I'm unsure as well if Steam Deck will be a big success.
To be honest, I'd lean more on the no side than on the yes.
Jpxe 21 Jan
You wouldn't steal a car, you wouldn't right click on a NFT jpeg an save as
based 21 Jan
I think it being only sold on steam and no retail would hurt sales
On GoG you can get games with no DRM.

On Steam you can get games with DRM.

On NFT platforms you get just the DRM.
I can't help but feel those who compared the deck to the switch are those who either

A) Don't fully understand the steam deck and what it can / does do
B) Simply MS-Only developers, so have no interest in a Linux device
C) Don't have enough information about the device and feel it's just another handheld console

I think their opinions may change if they understood it a bit better.

But perhaps I'm biased, since I have one preordered 🤔
kuhpunkt 21 Jan
I'd really like to see/know who those devs even are. 40% are developing for Oculus? No way this is representative.
Boldos 21 Jan
Interesting to see, that streaming is of no interest to the devs...
It might have a lot of (mainly technical) complications for sure, but it has one important thing: It provides 100% DRM by design.
So I would expect - especially very big - studios to be quite interested in this delivery mechanism.
scaine 21 Jan
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Quoting: JpxsonYou wouldn't steal a car, you wouldn't right click on a NFT jpeg an save as

Showing your age (and possibly your Britishness) there!

Genuinely not sure if "you wouldn't steal a car" was shown outside of British cinemas?

Edit - so, uh, it wasn't shown on cinemas, it was DVDs mainly that featured this tripe. Early 2000's though, so at least I had that right.


Last edited by scaine on 21 January 2022 at 11:46 am UTC
Eike 21 Jan
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Quoting: scaine
Quoting: JpxsonYou wouldn't steal a car, you wouldn't right click on a NFT jpeg an save as

Showing your age (and possibly your Britishness) there!

Genuinely not sure if "you wouldn't steal a car" was shown outside of British cinemas?

Edit - so, uh, it wasn't shown on cinemas, it was DVDs mainly that featured this tripe. Early 2000's though, so at least I had that right.

So, where is it from?

Be it good or bad, I severely lack Britishness. :D
Orkultus 21 Jan
"don’t think it will deliver anything revolutionary that isn’t currently being delivered by the Switch"??? This here, is just dumb.
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