Unity Technologies have just released their Game Development in 2021 Report. This 35 page PDF (direct download link) is a gold mine of information taken from various different Unity platforms and products, as well as the result of Unity developer surveys. The information is obviously going to skew heavily toward Unity users, but is packed with relevant information on what occurred in 2020 in the world of game development, and what we should expect in 2021.
Highlights of the report include:
- Unity remains the game engine of choice with 61% of developers surveyed using it, and the second most popular choice as a mobile ad network.
- COVID-19 had a notable impact on the way people play video games. The volume of HD gaming (video games on PC, macOS, and other desktop platforms with graphics typically rendered in high definition) rose by over 38% in 2020. Additionally, play has shifted to weekdays, and this trend held well beyond the onset of the pandemic – the difference between weekday and weekend gaming increased by 52%, in weekday gaming’s favor.
- Mobile gaming also saw strong positive impact in 2020. When comparing this year’s growth to last year’s, first day microtransaction purchases were up more than 50% year over year, and ad revenues saw over 8% growth. This is on top of already strong baseline growth rates for both in-app purchases (IAP) and ad revenue.
- Creating new content to delight and engage players should still be a top priority for game developers. On average, large new content updates for live games resulted in peak concurrent user spikes of over 11%.