A new game industry survey revealed that over 500 studios around the world are currently working on or maintaining live-service video games like Destiny 2, Suicide Squad, and Fortnite.
On February 2, as reported by GamesIndustry, Griffin Gaming Partners and Rendered VC released the 2023 Game Development Report. This report surveyed 537 development studios around the world and asked them questions about the state of the industry and what projects they were working on. If you were hoping we’d get fewer live-service, always-online games moving forward, well… bad news.
The report says that 95% of studios surveyed are developing or maintaining a live-service game. That means just over 500 studios are currently making or working on some kind of Destiny-like video game that probably demands an always-online connection and features seasons and battle passes, too.
According to the survey, 66% of studios agreed that live-service is necessary for the long-term success of a video game. The Game Development Report also says that non-live games now take about two to three years to develop. Meanwhile, live-service titles can take more than five years.
It further explains that the majority of live-service developers are working faster than ever to create enough content to satisfy players and keep them hooked.
“Across the industry, live service teams reported their ideal production schedules as weekly to biweekly for live ops cadences and biweekly to monthly for game content updates,” said the report. “In the context of game development, which typically spans multiple years, live service production schedules are moving at breakneck speed.”
It really isn’t surprising to hear that so many developers are making live-serivce games like Fortnite or Diablo IV. We know that publishers want more of these games, as they can sell people pricey skins and battle passes for years, milking gamers for a long time with one title and small content updates.
Of course, the problem is that many live-service games don’t last as long as GTA Online or Sea Of Thieves. Many of them die after a few short years, if that, and often with few players still around enjoying all that content. Yet, if you can make a successful and popular live-service game, you can be set for years. And it seems a lot of publishers are taking that gamble and rolling the dice that their big Destiny-like action game will be one of the few that survives. Meanwhile, we all have to deal with more games dying and becoming unplayable after just a few years. Depressing stuff.