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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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damarrin 21 Jan
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Quoting: Eike
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

DVDs in Poland had this.
Eike 21 Jan
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Quoting: damarrinDVDs in Poland had this.

Ahhh, like, "you wouldn't steal a car, so don't copy what's on the disc"?
holzi 21 Jan
Quoting: Eike
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

https://youtu.be/ALZZx1xmAzg
damarrin 21 Jan
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Quoting: Eike
Quoting: damarrinDVDs in Poland had this.

Ahhh, like, "you wouldn't steal a car, so don't copy what's on the disc"?

It was like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALZZx1xmAzg but less cool.
damarrin 21 Jan
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Ahh, beaten by holzi. And the exact same video, too.
toor 21 Jan
Quoting: BlackBloodRumI 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 🤔

The comparison is easy, almost natural, it's a portable gaming device that can be docked.
It's Valve who insists on the fact it's "a portable PC", but the difference between PC and consoles are fading away anyway in my opinion, they use the same CPU/GPU architecture. Consoles just more or less guarantee the hardware to be known in advance, so probably easier to optimize for it, and that is the case of the Steam Deck. It's true that the software on console is usually more controlled though. But it's the case for macOS X, and yet it's still a PC, right?

The verification process for steam deck compatibility doesn't take into account if it's optimized for the hardware of the Steam deck at all. It's only about user experience on small screens, controllers, and game compatibility with Linux/proton.

It's like they don't want game devs to optimize for it like it were a fixed hardware, although they could.
And they also said they are open to other providers to implement their own Steam Deck.
It feels like Steam deck is a way to say « hey! Look, this is an example of what can be done, do your own »
Like they did with steam machines, but this time they have their own implementation, go for a portable device, and they "fixed" the poor library of games related to the linux based OS


Last edited by toor on 21 January 2022 at 12:15 pm UTC
Jpxe 21 Jan
Quoting: scaineShowing your age (and possibly your Britishness) there!

Yes I'm old but Swedish . We had a big Pirate Party that got all the way too EU and The Pirate Bay is from here so this sentence was a popular early meme with the youth at the time.
Quoting: Jpxson
Quoting: scaineShowing your age (and possibly your Britishness) there!

Yes I'm old but Swedish . We had a big Pirate Party that got all the way too EU and The Pirate Bay is from here so this sentence was a popular early meme with the youth at the time.
Worry not, for us pirates still be here.

(Completely legitimate in all ways... of course 🤨

No laws be broken, honest 😉)
Depesza 21 Jan
Quoting: damarrin
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: damarrinDVDs in Poland had this.

Ahhh, like, "you wouldn't steal a car, so don't copy what's on the disc"?

It was like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALZZx1xmAzg but less cool.

I found the original one ;) (Polish version)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5yiV6h07Vs


Last edited by Depesza on 21 January 2022 at 12:25 pm UTC
Arehandoro 21 Jan
Quote"don’t think it will deliver anything revolutionary that isn’t currently being delivered by the Switch"

Except a humongous game library from Steam, GOG, emulators, etc, and the fact that we don't really have something like the Switch on PC (And on Linux!)

Besides, what if it doesn't deliver anything revolutionary? PlayStation 4 didn't deliver anything revolutionary from PS3 and it still sold 100 millions units.

Switch brought a holistic approach to playing games on Nintendo hardware, mainly due to limitations from their part to develop for 2 different consoles, but also seeing the demographics, particularly of Japan, very well. At least before the pandemic, anyway.

A similar device for PC is a very good idea. Personally, I believe it will work better than Steam Machines, and somewhat successful, but not enough to create a trend between manufacturers.
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