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Game devs flock to VR as Steam Box interest wanes, says GDC Europe survey

In order to get a better understanding of the European sector of game development right before GDC Europe, the Game Developers Conference has surveyed over 400 European games industry professionals who have attended GDC shows, read Gamasutra.com, or plan to attend GDC Europe 2014 in August.

The resulting GDC Europe State of the Industry report offers some interesting insight into which European country is perceived to be premier development hub, as well as how European developers are adapting to emerging trends like crowdfunding and regional tax incentives for game development.

Now, a deeper dive into the data reveals several fascinating trends about the hardware that European developers are making games for, as well as their fervor for emerging platforms like VR, Steam Boxes and Android microconsoles.

VR is a major emerging market, as interest in Steam Boxes and Android consoles falls away

28 percent of respondents expressed interest in developing for VR as the technology gains credibility. 26 percent of respondents are interested in making games for the Steam Box market, down from 37 percent last year. Just 7 percent of respondents are interested in Android consoles like the Ouya and Gamestick, plummeting down from 32 percent last year.

European developer interest in new consoles ramps up, as mobile loses some luster European developer interest in making tablet/smartphones games seems to have dropped a bit. Roughly 43 percent of respondents were interested in developing for either tablets or smartphones, down from 61 percent interested in tablets and 53 percent interested in smartphones last year.

Based on the survey, interest in the PlayStation 4 is up a bit to 43 percent from 39 percent, as interest in Xbox One rose to 27 percent of respondents from 20 percent last year. The PC continues to be an important platform for European developers, as 56 percent of respondents expressed interested in making PC/Mac games.

More European developers are working on VR games than Wii U games

Just over 6 percent of respondents are currently working on a Wii U game, while nearly 7 percent of respondents are developing a game for VR headsets.

PlayStation 4 remains the preferred platform as European developers ramp up work on new hardware

Slightly more respondents are working on PlayStation 4 titles compared to Xbox One titles (18 percent to 13 percent, respectively), but looking ahead, the gap is expected to widen -- 33 percent of respondents expect their next game to come to PlayStation 4, vs. 23 percent for Xbox One.

[Organized by UBM Tech Game Network GDC Europe 2014 -- now in its sixth year in Cologne -- will run Monday through Wednesday, August 11-13 at the Congress-Centrum Ost in Cologne, Germany, co-located with Europe's biggest video game trade and public show gamescom.]

Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech.