70% of developers reportedly concerned by live service game sustainability

A new survey from Game Developer has revealed significant concerns around live service games.
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A new survey conducted by the Game Developer Collective has revealed a significant portion of video game developers hold concerns about live service games, and their future sustainability. According to the survey, there are growing concerns about competition in the games market, and many developers believe that players are losing interest in live service games in the long term.

Around 600 developers were interviewed by the Game Developer Collective between February and March 2024, with 70% of these developers reporting degrees of concern around live service games. When asked: “How concerned are you about the sustainability of live service business models commonly in use at present?” around 31% of respondents indicated they were Very Concerned, while 39% were somewhat concerned.

Just 25% of developers surveyed expressed no concern about live service game models, and the current industry for live service games.

Read: Warner Bros. doubles down on commitment to live service games

Per the survey, the most common reason for concerns were players losing interest (63%), competition from other live service games (62%), rising user acquisition costs (47%), and rising development costs (34%). Other concerns included competition from other forms of entertainment, and a loss of interest from investors.

Overall, there is a feeling that while live service games are the current “trend” of the moment, overcrowding in the genre, and changing player tastes may eventually contribute to a sharp decline.

The Game Developer report arrives following months of discussion around live service games, including reports that have suggested players are still focussed on playing older games with live service ecosystems (Fortnite, Roblox, Minecraft), rather than new titles.

As cited by Game Developer, a recent survey by Griffin Gaming Partners indicated that 65% of game studios are working on one or more live service games, inspired by modern trends. That survey encompassed nearly 540 studios, and indicated widespread enthusiasm for live service games, from a studio standpoint.

Despite this, it appears developers still hold significant concerns around these emerging projects, doubting their sustainability as the market floods with live service games. It’s also worth noting that 45% of developers surveyed by the Game Developer Collective held negative views about live service games, suggesting many who are working on these titles are concerned about their future.

We’ll likely see the impact of this new wave of live service games in the coming years, as games in development begin to release. Whether they can find their audiences and monetise in sustainable fashion is another issue entirely.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.