Gamedev.js Survey 2022 Report

Current state of Web Game Development in 2022

Table of contents

Demography
  1. What country do you live in and work from?
  2. How old are you?
  3. What is your gender?
Work experience
  1. Your gamedev job status
  2. If you work professionally as a game developer, what is the size of your company?
  3. Years of gamedev work experience
  4. How many games have you released so far?
Development
  1. What operating system are you mainly using to develop your games?
  2. Which browser are you using as a main development one?
  3. What editor are you using to code?
  4. What build tools are you using?
  5. How do you test your code?
  6. What language are you using to write code?
  7. What technologies ⁄ APIs are you using?
  8. Which frameworks ⁄ engines are you using?
Graphic design
  1. Where are you getting your graphic design assets from?
  2. If you create graphic design assets, what tool are you using?
Sound and music
  1. Where are you getting your sound and music assets from?
  2. If you create sound and music assets, what tool are you using?
Monetization
  1. What is your source of income?
  2. How much money are you earning from game development (yearly estimate)?
Blockchain
  1. How do you feel about blockchain ⁄ crypto ⁄ NFTs coming into gamedev space?
  2. Are you involved in any blockchain ⁄ crypto ⁄ NFT related game development project?
Publishing
  1. How do you publish your games?
  2. Which platforms do you use to promote your activities?
Happiness
  1. What's your overall happiness of what you do as a game developer?
  2. Are there any specific issues or struggles you're having when developing games?
Closing remarks
  1. Anything else you'd like to add?

Intro

We, the Gamedev.js Community (led by Andrzej Mazur from Enclave Games), were wondering what tools and technologies people use to develop web games, how much do they earn, what monetization strategies are they using, and more. There was almost no up-to-date, solid data on the topic, so we decided to ask the community directly and publish the results afterwards.

The Gamedev.js Survey 2022 was open between February 18th and March 18th, and the Report was published on April 18th 2022 - we received a total of 338 submitted results. You can also see the Report from 2021 if you'd like to compare the answers.

Thank you to every single one of you who sent a response, promoted the Survey through your community, or in any other way helped make it happen - we really appreciate it! You are free to use any data listed below, but please give credit and link to the original source when using it, thank you!

Question #1: What country do you live in and work from?

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #1: What country do you live in and work from?

The survey received a total of 320 answers to this question, with top 10 being USA (19,4%), India (7,8%), United Kingdom (5,6%), Germany (4,7%), Brazil (4,7%), Poland (4,4%), France (4,1%), Canada (3,1%), Australia (2,2%), and Indonesia (2,2%). There were 74 different countries selected, with many unique and exotic ones, which shows a good geographical diversity.

Question #2: How old are you?

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #2: How old are you?

With 334 total answers, top responses were 26-35 (28,4%), followed by 18-25 (27,8%), 36-45 (18,6%), and <18 (18,6%). We had 5,1% of the responses from people aged 46-55, 1,2% of those 56-65, and 0,3% 66+.

Question #3: What is your gender?

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #3: What is your gender?

Males are the majority with 91% of the 334 answers, followed by 4,8% from females, and 1,2% non-binary. Also, 3% preferred not to say.

Question #4: Your gamedev job status

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #4: Your gamedev job status

More than two thirds of the 337 answers went for being hobbyists (67,1%), followed by those running their own businesses (12,8%), eployed by a company (9,5%), and freelancers (8,3%). There were a few answers about being a student.

Question #5: If you work professionally as a game developer, what is the size of your company?

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #5: If you work professionally as a game developer, what is the size of your company?

Out of 240 answers, 71,7% are solo devs, with the second place being a team of 2-5 people (13,3%), and third 21-50 (3,75%). It's interesting to see the 1000+ companies having more answers than 101-500 and 501-1000 combined.

Question #6: Years of gamedev work experience

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #6: Years of gamedev work experience

Answers to this question were spread evenly: out of 325 replies, the most popular two were 1-2 and 3-5 years (both 26,2%). People having less than one year of gamedev work experience totaled up to 24,6%, and more than fifteen years to 4,9%.

Question #7: How many games have you released so far?

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #7: How many games have you released so far?

Most popular answer among 334 replies was 0 (32%), with 1-2 being second (28,4%), and 3-5 third (19,5%). It might be a big surprise to see so many game developers answer they haven't released a single game yet. On the other hand, 3% of the devs taking part in the survey released more than 50 games, nice!

Question #8: What operating system are you mainly using to develop your games?

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #8: What operating system are you mainly using to develop your games?

There was 65,6% out of 337 answers for Windows, 17,2% for MacOS, and 14,5% for Linux. Other noticeable answers include "Web", "mobile", and one for Chrome OS.

Question #9: Which browser are you using as a main development one?

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #9: Which browser are you using as a main development one?

The sentiment is similar to the front-end development community: 64,5% for Chrome, 16,1% for Firefox, and then Brave (7,5%), Edge (4,8%), and Opera (4,2%), totaling in 335 answers. The long tail contained some people using Vivaldi.

Question #10: What editor are you using to code?

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #10: What editor are you using to code?

The most popular editor is definitely VS Code (67,9%) being in more than two thirds of the answers, followed by Notepad++ (13,1%) and Sublime Text (11,6%). The 8,9% out of a total of 336 answers were stating the person submitting the survey was not a coder. Single answers included Vim, Scratch, and even... Doom Emacs.

Question #11: What build tools are you using?

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #11: What build tools are you using?

The most popular answer was NPM (42,7%), with TypeScript being the second (33,4%), and Webpack the third (31,9%). Interestingly enough, "none" took fourth place with 25,4%. There's a long tail of various tools people are using: from Vite, Yarn and esbuild, through engine-specific tooling, to Bash.

Question #12: How do you test your code?

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #12: How do you test your code?

The staggering majority of all the answers (88,4%) went for "myself", with 42,1% for "friends and family", and only 9,3% having their own Quality Assurance team, while 4,5% not having tests at all. There were answers like automated, unit tests, and continuous integration.

Question #13: What language are you using to write code?

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #13: What language are you using to write code?

More than two thirds (71,3%) is programming in JavaScript, while 35,9% is doing that in TypeScript, and 9,6% are not coders. Other answers included Lua, Rust, Haxe, Ruby, AssemblyScript, GDScript, and even C ⁄ C# ⁄ C++, or custom preprocessors that generate JS ⁄ TS.

Question #14: What technologies / APIs are you using?

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #14: What technologies / APIs are you using?

Canvas got 62,2%, WebGL 54,6%, with Local Storage being the third with 45,1%. Among the other answers, Web Monetization got 11,1% and WebXR 4,8%.

Question #15: Which frameworks / engines are you using?

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #15: Which frameworks / engines are you using?

First two places were taken by Phaser and Unity (both 26,9%), followed by GDevelop (20,8%), and "my own" (20,2%). Godot was fifth (14,8%), and Pixi.js right after (14,2%). A long tail of answers included Three.js, Kaboom.js, Kontra.js, and even Wonderland, Goodluck, or... ImpactJS.

Question #16: Where are you getting your graphic design assets from?

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #16: Where are you getting your graphic design assets from?

Most of the graphic design assets are created by the developers themselves (71,9%), followed by downloading the assets from the Internet (52,2%), and having a designer in the team (15,5%).

Question #17: If you create graphic design assets, what tool are you using?

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #17: If you create graphic design assets, what tool are you using?

Given 296 answers to this question out of 338 submitted total, the most popular tool is definitely Photoshop (35,1%), with GIMP (29,1%) right after, Inkscape (21,6%), and Krita (15,5%). There's a whole variety of other tools used by the devs, including Paint and various online editors.

Question #18: Where are you getting your sound and music assets from?

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #18: Where are you getting your sound and music assets from?

More than two thirds of the sound and music assets are downloaded from the Internet (67,9%), while almost half is created by the developers themselves (48,9%), and the third answer is a producer in the team (9,6%).

Question #19: If you create sound and music assets, what tool are you using?

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #19: If you create sound and music assets, what tool are you using?

Out of the 219 answers, way more than a half is using Audacity (62,1%), with the second Bfxr taking 25,6%, and Audition 7,8%. There's a whole lot of other tools folks are using too like FL Studio, Reaper, or Garageband, and even "my own JS library for playing beeps".

Question #20: What is your source of income?

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #20: What is your source of income?

In this question we've received a total of 330 answers, out of which almost half is earning money off of their salary (40,9%), while "none" was second right after (38,2%), followed by client work in third (13,9%) and advertisements in fourth (12,4%). Web Monetization ended up on the 9th place with only 4,2%, and crypto ⁄ NFTs are right after with 3,9%. Other options include bug bounties on game engines, parents, or a second job.

Question #21: How much money are you earning from game development (yearly estimate)?

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #21: How much money are you earning from game development (yearly estimate)?

Some could expect about half of those 76,9% earning less than $1k a year are the ones who selected "none" in the previous question (about the source of income), and those are most probably students. The rest of the answers were spread more or less evenly, with $21K - $50k taking second place with 5,2%.

Question #22: How do you feel about blockchain ⁄ crypto ⁄ NFTs coming into gamedev space?

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #22: How do you feel about blockchain ⁄ crypto ⁄ NFTs coming into gamedev space?

Out of 333 answers, most of them are neutral (36,6%), one fourth (25,8%) is strongly against though, where both in favor options are only a little bit more than one fifth (21,9%) total. Not bad, not terrible.

Question #23: Are you involved in any blockchain ⁄ crypto ⁄ NFT related game development project?

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #23: Are you involved in any blockchain ⁄ crypto ⁄ NFT related game development project?

The overwhelming majority (77,7%) out of 148 answers is not involved in any crypto related gamedev project, but almost one fifth (18,9%) is. Blockchains devs are using include Ethereum, Polygon, NEAR, Solana, Binance Smart Chain, Immutable X. Some answers went along the lines of "I refuse to be part of the NFT scam", "no, NFT evil", or "no and I never will, NFTs have destroyed the artist community and promote theft" though, so there's still plenty of room to (re)gain good reputation.

Question #24: How do you publish your games?

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #24: How do you publish your games?

More than half is publishing on Itch.io and similar (58,7%), with own website taking the second (38,9%), and nothing published third (19,1%). Other answers include GitHub (Pages), Facebook Instant Games, Google Play, and even Steam.

Question #25: Which platforms do you use to promote your activities?

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #23: Which platforms do you use to promote your activities?

Twitter is the most popular platform with exactly half of the answers (50%), followed by Discord (43,5%), and Itch.io (39,8%), while "none" took the 9th place with 18%. Long tail include LinkedIn, forums, and even Mastodon.

Question #26: What's your overall happiness of what you do as a game developer (10 - the happiest)?

Gamedev.js Survey 2022 - Question #24: What's your overall happiness of what you do as a game developer (10 - the happiest)?

It's great to see almost 85% of all the 329 answers being positive about their happines and answering between 6 and 10, with more than half aiming at 8-10. The happiest are 60 people (15,8%), while the most popular answer was 8 (24,3%), and only 7 people (2,1%) answered with 1 (if you did, please get in touch - we'd like to help!).

Question #27: Are there any specific issues or struggles you're having when developing games?

Out of the 200 answers to this open question, many mentioned lack of free time, missing motivation to start or finish the project, finding teammates, proper marketing to reach players, monetization, solid tools to release games on native platforms, and much more. Those answers have to be studied more to help devs with their problems.

Question #28: Anything else you'd like to add?

This was set up to receive anything related to the survey, and it was usually used to send good vibes our way, for which we're really thankful! Out of the 102 answers, some reiterated their struggles from the previous question, others said they enjoy making games already, or are going to quit their day job to focus on game development. Not all comments were enthusiastic, but the overall feel was mostly positive.

Also, exactly 270 people out of those 338 left their email addresses to be notified about the results, which is cool!

Gamedev.js Jam 2023

Gamedev.js Jam 2023

Join Gamedev.js Jam 2023 for Web Game Developers happening online between April 13th and 26th 2023, hosted on Itch.io. There are prizes!

Sign up to the Gamedev.js Weekly newsletter!

Summary

Thank you again for being involved! If you have any questions, feedback about the survey itself, or any other inquiries, please get in touch via email. You can also follow @Gamedevjs on Twitter, or join our Discord server.

Don't forget to take part in the Gamedev.js Jam 2023 and subscribe to the Gamedev.js Weekly newsletter as well.

This Survey in 2022 was supported by OP Games donation.