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Are today's developers being held back by a global talent shortage?

The 2023 State of Game Development & Design Report reveals challenges facing developers today
Are today's developers being held back by a global talent shortage?

Software developer Perforce has released its latest findings around game development and design, published in its 2023 State of Game Development & Design Report.

Through a survey of game developers around the world, Perforce has collated a list of prevalent development challenges, the tools developers use, what said devs are excited about and more. Among said challenges, the most problematic is navigating a talent shortage.

For this year’s report, Perforce has partnered with computing software creator Incredibuild.

The biggest challenges

Perforce and Incredibuild’s survey has found a shortage of talent is holding back game makers, with 32% of developers sharing that this is now their greatest challenge when it comes to making new titles.

As a knock-on effect, team sizes more broadly have become a problem too, with 43% of devs low on numbers. This ultimately slows development for some and causes crunch for others; many Triple-A creators noted that there isn’t enough development time to create their games, explaining why some developers are now working 95-hour weeks.

"With shifts in talent acquisition and the changing dynamics of remote work, we can’t ignore the ripple effects in the industry," said Perforce VP of digital creation Brad Hart.

"Newcomers are eager for more opportunities and structured ways to learn. For the gaming industry to grow, we need to lower barriers and broaden access to knowledge."

Perforce also pointed out that the number of respondents developing AR and VR games has fallen from 28% in 2022 to 13% in 2023, indicating that more and more developers see AR’s flagship Pokémon Go as a fluke, not a growing market.

Other challenges mentioned in the report include issues with communication and the shift in dynamics caused by remote work initiatives. Remote working has been a hot topic lately, from My.Games CSO Elena Grigoryan discussing how crucial "the right infrastructure" is, to former managing director of Savage Games Michail Katkoff sharing his thoughts on why hybrid is the way to go. Playstudios' Andrew Pascal, meanwhile, has shared his secret to making employees want to come to work.