Nearly half of developers say the pandemic has delayed their game
A new GDC report shows the impact the coronavirus has had on game development
Almost half of developers have seen their game suffer delays as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new survey.
The Game Developers Conference‘s ninth annual State of the Industry survey questioned 3,000 developers from around the world about various aspects of their life.
When asked if the pandemic had resulted in their game being delayed, 44% of those polled said yes, while 49% answered no (the remaining 7% weren’t currently working on a game).
This is an increase from last year’s survey, where 33% of those polled said the pandemic had delayed their game. The report suggests that as the pandemic has continued, delays have piled up and become more prominent.
“COVID basically disrupted our communications and work rhythm,” one of the developers wrote in their survey.
“We have lost months due to not being able to travel, work in person, and work together more collaboratively,” another explained.
Others have stated that they’re often interrupted by their children, that they and their colleagues have difficulty respecting work schedules when they’re at home, and have had issues with development kits that only work through a VPN when working from home.
Despite this, more than half of those polled suggested that the pandemic hasn’t affected their own creativity or productivity.
35% said that it had increased as a result of working from home, while a further 32% said it was around the same.
A number of high profile games have been delayed as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt production schedules. Last month Warner Bros Interactive announced that Gotham Knights was being delayed until 2022 to “give the game more time to deliver the best possible experience for players”.
Earlier this year, Bungie delayed Destiny’s next expansion into next year. Lord of the Rings Gollum, Gran Turismo 7 and Hogwarts Legacy have also had their dates slip during the first few months of the year.
Last summer Xbox boss Phil Spencer said that he believed games planned for 2021 were more likely to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic than last year’s releases, due to the stage in which their development cycles were disrupted by last year’s shutdowns.
“Games that were targeting a year from now or beyond? There’ll be some impact, but they’ll be able to react,” he said.