By all accounts, the next generation of consoles isn’t too far away. Most likely, we can expect to see the PS5 and the next Xbox in 2020, while at the most, we’re looking at 2021 releases for both. It’s not illogical to assume, then, that developers are already working on games for next generation hardware. As per a recent report on the current state of the games industry by the GDC, that seems to be the case. Based on a sample size of 4000 for the research in question, 16 per cent of all game developers currently in the industry are making games for next generation hardware right now.
What’s interesting is that the people working on games made exclusively for next-gen systems is much smaller- the 16 per cent figure quoted above takes into consideration developers that are working on next gen games exclusively, as well as those who are working on games that are cross-gen, with only 2 per cent of total developers belonging in former category. 37 per cent developers say that they don’t concretely know at this time what systems their games are going to be out on, while the remaining 46 per cent are working exclusively on current gen titles.
We can probably already assume that a large portion of the 2 per cent devs working exclusively on next gen consoles belong to first party studios from Sony and Microsoft. Just as an example, we know that Playground Games are working on an unannounced title that is a ways off yet, while it’s also not a stretch to assume that Sony Santa Monica, Insomniac (who’re not technically a Sony first party studio, but will likely be working on a Spider-Man sequel), and Guerrilla Games are also working on PS5 titles. Meanwhile, Sony’s newly set up (and currently not officially unveiled) studio in San Diego also has something in the works.
Bethesda’s duo of upcoming RPGs, The Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield, also belong in the category of next gen titles (though there’s a chance that Starfield ends up being cross-gen). Other third parties like Square Enix are also currently working on unannounced next-gen projects, while EA recently announced Dragon Age 4, which by all accounts, is a ways off yet as well.
Then there are games like Death Stranding and Halo Infinite, which do not currently have release dates, and might end up launching on both, current gen and next gen consoles, not to mention recent games that have already released, or upcoming games that are not too far away, that might be re-released on next-gen systems as well, including the likes of Red Dead Redemption 2 and The Last of Us Part 2.