PC is still developers' favorite gaming platform, and its lead is growing

PC remains the most popular gaming platform among developers, and its lead over consoles and mobile is growing, according to a Game Developers Conference survey of nearly 4,000 developers. 

The State of the Game Industry 2019 report found that 56% of respondents had released their last game on PC, the first time the figure has topped 50%. Smartphones/tablets were the next most popular platform at 38%.

When asked what platform they were currently developing games for, two-thirds said PC. 62% of respondents said their next game would release on PC—the highest console was the PlayStation 4 at 32%, and smartphones/tablets were at 35%. "Again we see PC on top and increasing its lead year-over-year, while dev interest in other platforms remains relatively steady," the report said. 

PC was the most-picked platform when respondents were asked which platforms "most interest you as a developer right now", at 60%, ahead of the Nintendo Switch at 45%.

The survey also revealed what developers thought of PC store fronts such as Steam, GOG and the Epic Store (opens in new tab). Just 6% of developers agreed that Steam justified the 30% cut it takes from revenue a game makes, while 17% said it "maybe" justified the cut. A further 17% said they didn't know, while 32% said Steam did not justify the revenue cut, which was the largest group of respondents. 27% said it "probably" did not justify the cut. 

However, Steam remained the most popular PC store front, with 47% of PC developers using it to sell their games. Direct sales via a developer's website were next, at 26%, while itch.io, the Humble Store and GOG were each used by less than 20% of respondents. 

The survey included others tidbits on developers' virtual reality preferences, loot boxes and workload, with nearly half of developers saying they work more than 40 hours a week. You can download the full report for free by signing up via email here (opens in new tab).

Samuel Horti

Samuel Horti is a long-time freelance writer for PC Gamer based in the UK, who loves RPGs and making long lists of games he'll never have time to play. He's now a full-time reporter covering health at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. When he does have time for games you may find him on the floor, struggling under the weight of his Steam backlog.