GDC kicks off with over 550 game dev sessions, will return as in-person event next year

This year’s Game Developers Conference (GDC) kicks off today as a virtual event with over 550 sessions on all things game development.

GDC 2021 claims to take full advantage of the possibilities offered by virtual events. Back in 2020, around COVID-19’s historic peak, GDC was one of the first large events to be cancelled.

The organisers now have successive virtual events under their belt so it will be interesting to see how they’ve utilised their experience to...

Nintendo announces Switch OLED with minor improvements

Nintendo has finally announced its long-awaited new Switch model but without many of the rumoured upgrades.

The new Switch OLED, as its name suggests, boasts a new display that should improve some of the complaints about previous models having poor contrast and brightness. However, the rumoured bump to 1080p hasn’t materialised and the screen is still just 720p.

Nintendo has increased the screen size from 6.2-inch to 7-inch so a boosted resolution would have been even...

Developers claim that PlayStation is particularly difficult to work with

Independent game developers have bemoaned the difficulty of working with PlayStation over Xbox and Nintendo.

Iain Garner of independent game publisher Neon Doctrine recently posted a tirade on Twitter where he suggested that getting prominent promotion on the store of a “very successful console” that “does not have Games Pass” (i.e not Xbox, and presumably meaning PlayStation) costs at least $25,000.

Video game publication Kotaku first published the story and...

GDC: Developers judge 30% store cuts unfair, PS5 most interesting console

The latest report from the Game Developer Conference (GDC) provides various insights into how developers view the current gaming landscape.

GDC surveyed over 3,000 gaming industry professionals for its 2021 State of the Game Industry report.

Just three percent of developers felt it was fair for digital stores like Steam and GOG to take 30 percent of their revenue. However, perplexingly, three percent believe the platforms should take a larger cut.

62 percent of...

Unity’s latest report highlights COVID-19’s impact on gaming

Game development platform Unity has released a report on how COVID-19 has impacted the industry.

The report is based on the world’s largest dataset on COVID-19’s impact on gaming and spans everything from the PC gaming landscape to mobile ad spend.

Ingrid Lestiyo, SVP and General Manager of Operate Solutions at Unity, said:

“In a year where online entertainment content - more than ever -  became the cornerstone of social connections for so many when...

Cloud gaming will ‘fundamentally disrupt’ distribution, monetisation, and consumption

A report from GlobalData highlights the big changes that cloud gaming will bring to the industry which requires consideration.

Cloud gaming is still a small industry – representing around one percent of gaming revenue in 2020 – but it is expected to grow quickly as technologies like 5G continue to rollout and/or improve.

Rupantar Guha, Associate Project Director at GlobalData, said:

“In ten years, traditional PC and console games will have been replaced...

Game developers can have the accessibility of their titles checked by Xbox

Microsoft is launching a new initiative which enables game developers to send their PC and Xbox titles in to be analysed by accessibility experts.

“Where issues are found, they are noted with reproduction steps, screenshots, and other information to help the developer understand what aspect of a given experience may be challenging for certain gamers with disabilities,” explained Brannon Zahand, senior program manager of gaming accessibility at Xbox.

Xbox has been on...

App Annie: Mobile app demand surging, gaming revenue set to surpass $120B

Research from App Annie reveals the extent of a surge in demand for mobile apps, driven predominately by gaming.

Mobile game revenue is expected to increase 20 percent this year to surpass $120 billion.

A year into a pandemic, it’s of little surprise to hear that consumption of any form of entertainment has increased—but such a year-on-year increase continues to be staggering given the existing size of the industry.

For comparison, global mobile game...

Cross-platform graphics API Vulkan is now ‘ray-tracing ready’

The Khronos Group has announced that Vulkan’s SDK, tools, and drivers are now “ray-tracing ready” for developers.

Vulkan is an open-source and interoperable alternative to graphics APIs like DirectX, OpenGL, and Metal. Ray-tracing, meanwhile, is touted as the next big advancement in the visual fidelity of graphics, especially for games.

“4A Games was one of the earliest adopters of hardware-level ray-tracing by developing the first real-time raytraced global...

DirectX creator Engstrom dies aged 55, leaving behind a game-changing legacy

DirectX creator Eric Engstrom has sadly passed away at the age of 55, following a career which helped to shape the gaming industry as we know it.

Engstrom created the DirectX gaming APIs in 1994 – alongside Alex St. John and Craig Eisler – to simplify Windows game development and make it the stellar platform it remains today.

The APIs were originally developed for Windows 95. Game developers at the time were reporting they preferred MS-DOS for its low overhead and...