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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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jp 21 Jan
How many minutes I can play on Steam Deck (especially via Proton)?
Most likely it is another Valve fail.
Quoting: jpHow many minutes I can play on Steam Deck (especially via Proton)?
Most likely it is another Valve fail.

7-8 hours on games that are not super demanding

Portal 2 supposedly 4 hours

I'm guessing heavier titles like Control or God of War will be less.
Mohandevir 21 Jan
Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: jpHow many minutes I can play on Steam Deck (especially via Proton)?
Most likely it is another Valve fail.

7-8 hours on games that are not super demanding

Portal 2 supposedly 4 hours

I'm guessing heavier titles like Control or God of War will be less.

So, not much worst than a Nintendo Switch...

QuoteFor Nintendo Switch – OLED Model with a serial number that starts with “XT”, the battery life is approximately 4.5 to 9 hours.

For Nintendo Switch consoles with a serial number that starts with “XK”, the battery life is approximately 4.5 to 9 hours.

For Nintendo Switch consoles with a serial number that starts with “XA”, the battery life is approximately 2.5 to 6.5 hours.

For Nintendo Switch Lite, the battery life is approximately 3 to 7 hours.

Source

Not really a factor, imo. And demanding games looks like crap on this Nvidia Shield grade hardware.

Edit:
The only advantage I can think of, that the Nintendo Switch has over the Steam Deck, is Nintendo's IP. I nearly bought one, because I wanted a portable device, but decided not too, considering the performances of the games I'm interrested in... Then came the Steam Deck that promises to be a lot more interresting, for that use case. On top of that, I don't need to buy my games again.


Last edited by Mohandevir on 21 January 2022 at 3:05 pm UTC
Arten 21 Jan
Quoting: nullzero
Quoting: Arten
QuoteThe 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.
It's called selection bias. Only developers interested in steamdeck try to get one and so they are more likely prise it. Ones who are more likely criticize it don't want it, so they don't have one.
I expect great device, but but this survey shows that our view can be influenced by the fact that we hear only positive news.

Thing here is those devs didn't buy any. The units simply poped up in their mailbox, courtesy of Valve Inc.

The bias here, is trying to figure out how many devs got it, and posted no evidence online!

They still need ask Valve for one. That is somethink only devs with interest do.
It will be interesting to see how long we can play God of War on the deck, especially with higher graphics settings.

It'll be a flash back for me though as I remember playing God of War on my PSP 1000 (Japan edition) with custom firmware and pandora battery kit. (I still own it)

It'll bring back some memories that's for sure.
mirv 21 Jan
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Quoting: XpanderAlso i don't really want to think about what will happen with the proton development if the Steam Deck will fail.

"Proton", or wine in general? Because wine will carry on just fine. DXVK will continue, but coordination of per-game fixes might suffer, and direct Steam integration could stall. Except Valve have long wanted to not be under Microsoft's direct control - and regardless of the Steam Deck, this is a way to prevent Microsoft from exerting control over stores on its platform (e.g taking a cut from every sale, which they wanted to do once before).

Basically funding a few projects is chump change for Valve, and keeps Microsoft at bay.
Liam Dawe 21 Jan
Quoting: Beamboom
QuoteWhen it comes to what platform developers are most interested in, Linux sat at 7%.

So not just interested in, but most interested in? As in, rating it above the other platforms? Really?
It's so I wonder if this either is misquoted or the question misunderstood...!

But if not, that's... pretty darn great!
Yes, most interested in but not above all others.

The full question was "Which platform(s) most interest you as a developer right now? (Choose all that apply)" and Linux got 7% for that.


Last edited by Liam Dawe on 21 January 2022 at 3:05 pm UTC
mZSq7Fq3qs 21 Jan
Good thing about steam deck is that It should not matter, if devs are into it or not.... kinda.
denyasis 21 Jan
Quoting: Arten
Quoting: nullzero
Quoting: Arten
QuoteThe 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.
It's called selection bias. Only developers interested in steamdeck try to get one and so they are more likely prise it. Ones who are more likely criticize it don't want it, so they don't have one.
I expect great device, but but this survey shows that our view can be influenced by the fact that we hear only positive news.

Thing here is those devs didn't buy any. The units simply poped up in their mailbox, courtesy of Valve Inc.

The bias here, is trying to figure out how many devs got it, and posted no evidence online!

They still need ask Valve for one. That is somethink only devs with interest do.


And, if you think about it logically.... That "special access" likely came with conditions, implicit or explicit. If you want further access to cool things in the future from the store that gets you most of your sales..... Well, you better play nice....
Xpander 21 Jan
Quoting: mirv"Proton", or wine in general? Because wine will carry on just fine. DXVK will continue, but coordination of per-game fixes might suffer, and direct Steam integration could stall. Except Valve have long wanted to not be under Microsoft's direct control - and regardless of the Steam Deck, this is a way to prevent Microsoft from exerting control over stores on its platform (e.g taking a cut from every sale, which they wanted to do once before).

Basically funding a few projects is chump change for Valve, and keeps Microsoft at bay.

I meant proton and steam integration yes. wine will ofc continue. DXVK and vkd3d might also slow down to crawl, if valve isn't paying anymore. Not to mention all other linux ecosystem improvements around gaming. But i guess thats the worst case scenario and valve hopefully will still want to keep steam play around.
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