Unity has released the Unity Gaming Report 2023 revealing that while 2022 was marked by shifting economic headwinds, creativity and innovation in the gaming industry remained strong. The report features fresh, actionable insights on the state of game development to support studios of all sizes as they navigate the complexities of making games.

The data is pulled from the Unity real-time development platform and Unity Gaming Services, through solutions that span mobile, PC, and console gaming, providing a unique view of the many parts of the gaming industry. New to this year’s report are insights and advice from respected studios including Zynga, the leading entertainment publisher behind the world’s most popular mobile games, Second Dinner, the award-winning developer behind the popular mobile hit, MARVEL SNAP, and Ramen VR, the creators of the highly acclaimed MMO VR game, Zenith: The Last City.

The Unity Gaming Report 2023 highlights that while 2022 delivered economic change and challenges, game developers and the industry as a whole showed resilience and strength. Developers focused on efficiencies, optimisation and post launch efforts. Most smaller studios shipped games in under twelve months and they did it while working fewer hours. Different sized studios were also strategic about platform investment. Large studios drove year over year growth in multiplatform and cross-platform development, while the majority of smaller studios (90 per cent) opted to develop for a single platform. What was consistent for studios of all sizes though, was prioritising post-launch support, as developers doubled down on extending the lifespan of their games by 33 per cent to retain their existing player base for longer. Looking ahead, the Unity Gaming Report 2023 predicts that generative AI will be more involved in the development process to amplify productivity for creators and to reduce the time and resources required to make a game.

“It’s inspiring to witness the passion, ingenuity and persistence from our developer community as they continue to make incredible games in a tough macroeconomic environment. At Unity, we are committed to delivering a deep and best-in-class platform that helps them at every stage of their journey – from creating their game, to scaling with their players, to growing their business,” said Unity Create SVP and GM Marc Whitten.

Some key findings from the Unity Gaming Report 2023 include:

  • Efficiency is key with smaller studios shipping games quickly and working fewer hours – 62 per cent of indies shipped games in less than a year, and smaller studios in general worked 1.2 per cent fewer hours on average (equates to five years of total work hours).
  • To optimise investment, different size studios are being strategic about the number of platforms to develop for – Nearly 90 per cent of small studios are releasing on a single platform, while large studios have increased the number of multiplatform games produced in 2022 by 16 per cent compared to 2021. 88 per cent of large studios also invest in crossplatform.
  • Developers are doubling down on extending the lifespan of existing games and retaining players – The lifespan of mobile games increased 33 per cent over the last year. Approximately 84 per cent of studios with more than 50 people update their games for more than six months.

Unity will be hosting a creators roundtable with developers featured in the Gaming Report 2023 at the 2023 Game Developers Conference where industry leaders will discuss industry trends on the current and future state of end-to-end game development, monetisation, and live operations.