Game Developers Conference study shows pandemic’s effect on the game development industry

Game Developers Conference Summer official logo

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the gaming industry as we know it. For one whose most prominent effect involves the imposition of work-at-home setup, the crisis was indeed a “game-changer.” It appears that the quality of the consequences is two-fold.

Concerned at how the still ongoing pandemic is affecting everyone in that space, the Game Developers Conference conducted a study documenting the effect of the crisis. Involving almost 2500 participants, several extrapolations are extracted from the research and are split between negative and positive.

Work Hours, Productivity, and Creativity

The idea of a work-at-home setup might lead some to think that employees have the proclivity to slack off. But for nearly 50 percent of the overall respondents, the idea is not true at all. Contrary to that, they work more at home than they are at the office, especially pre-pandemic.

Those who claim to work excessively at home are split into two camps. WFH developers who work “somewhat more” and “much more” at 28 percent and 11 percent, respectively.

Going for the complete opposite, there are also those who say that they work less in a WFM setup. 14 percent of which admitting to work “somewhat less” and another 6% claiming to work “much less.”

Working more, however, does not necessarily imply better productivity among those who telecommute. A significant chunk of the population claim feeling the reduction of productivity as well as creativity. Two important factors that explain why some developers are compensating with longer working hours.

Conversely, 19 percent of the overall participants claim improvement in their productivity. Citing their relative isolation as a fostering of their creativity due to fewer distractions.

But lucky still are those who manage to maintain their jobs as 10% of the respondents were either furloughed or laid off.

Commercial Enterprises

The effect of the crisis does not just concern the employees, though. More importantly, the business entities behind that employment are a significant element of the total picture of the industry, too.

Surprisingly, 37 percent of the enterprises manage to not be affected by the issues brought by COVID-19. Some 31 percent, on the other hand, suggest growth in the business, pointing to the increased demand in entertainment as likely cause.

However, not every commercial enterprise in the gaming sphere managed to find good opportunities in light of the event. 32 percent of the overall declare decline in their business.

Knowing the creative forces behind the entertainment we all enjoy is good. But, what about the products themselves? How were they being affected by the still lingering crisis?

As many might have guessed, they were caused to be delayed. At least, as per the 33 percent of the game developer respondents.

In Summary

Ultimately, the unfamiliarity brought by the WFM setup and the challenges with teamwork from the remote arrangement is what hampers the gaming business. Whereas those who thrive do so through the lesser presence of distractions that are otherwise inherent in the office setting.

Image used courtesy of Game Developers Conference

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