In order to better understand 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, or plan to attend GDC Europe 2014 in August.
The resulting GDC Europe State of the Industry report offers some interesting insight into which popular and emerging platforms European developers are most excited to make games for, as well as how those developers are adapting to emerging trends like VR development and regional tax incentives for game makers.
We’ve run multiple stories about the results, and last week we shared some data suggesting European developers are embracing crowdfunding at a rate that presages significant change for the business of game development in the years to come.
Today we dig deeper into the data to try and better understand which European countries are perceived to be hotbeds of game development, how things have changed from a decade ago, and how they’re likely to continue changing in the years to come as the industry adapts to new hardware and new business models.
10 years ago, developers believe the UK was Europe’s premier development hub
A little over 63 percent of survey respondents felt that, ten years ago, the best games in Europe were being created in the United Kingdom. Fable, for example, was released by UK studio Lionhead in 2004, as was Rockstar North’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Almost 17 percent of the developers surveyed felt that Germany was making the best games ten years ago, placing it a distant second. Back in 2004, German studios like Crytek and Ascaron were releasing games like Far Cry and Sacred.
Now most European developers see Sweden as the place to be
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the question of where the best games are currently being made proved a bit more contentious. Sweden won the lion’s share of European developer regard; roughly 27 percent of respondents saw fit to name it Europe’s premier development hub, presumably for the work of Swedish studios like Mojang (Minecraft), MachineGames (Wolfenstein: The New Order) and Ubisoft’s Massive Entertainment (The Division).
The United Kingdom proved almost as popular as Sweden, with just over 20 percent of respondents naming it Europe’s game development hotspot. Finland ranked a somewhat distant third, presumably due to the efforts of Finnish developers like Rovio (Angry Birds), Remedy Entertainment (Quantum Break) and Housemarque (Resogun).
Looking ahead, Germany is expected to rise as the UK makes a comeback
Just over 20 percent of survey respondents believe the United Kingdom is going to be Europe’s game development hub five years from now.
19 percent of developers surveyed think German game development is going to heat up in the years ahead, while almost 15 percent think Sweden will become Europe’s premier hub for game makers.
It’s worth noting that the more than 400 developers who responded to this survey hail from all corners of Europe, and no country fielded enough respondents to account for overwhelming bias in these results.
[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.