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Exploring the PC Game Engine Landscape

We have compiled some interesting data about the market share of various game engines. In this article we will use technologies data from SteamDB and a custom revenue estimation algorithm to explore the PC game engine landscape. So without further ado, let’s jump right in!

Unity is number 1 in terms of number of released games. However, the number of Unity games increased by only 8% compared to last year. The number of Unreal games increased by 10%, while the number of Godot games increased by as much as 69%!

Most Indie games are made in Unity. On the other hand, AAA studios prefer their own ‘in-house’ engines.

Revenues

Now, let’s explore game revenues by engine

Let’s first take a look at how much money all the games made in total for each engine:

We see that by far the biggest money earners are games made in custom engines or Unreal engine. It’s surprising how little the games made in godot have made. Only about $40m in total. However, we have to keep in mind that Godot is still in its infancy. There are only a few Godot games on the market, and those are mostly games by hobby developers or small studios.

Let’s take a closer look at the revenue breakdown per engine:

We see that the games made in Unity have the highest median earnings. The average Unity game makes about $945, and the top 10% make over $100k

Interestingly, the median Unreal game makes less than the median Unity game. However, the top 10% of Unreal games make over $200k, which is twice as much as the top 10% of Unity games make.

Then we have Godot. Most of the godot games are smaller ‘hobby’ projects, so it is not surprising that median revenue of Godot games is around $200. Godot is still in its infancy, so it is not yet used by major developers. As a consequence, we see the top 10% of Godot games only earn $12k. That’s 10 times less than the top 10% of Unity games.

Review Scores

Games made with Godot seem to get the most love

Tags

Finally, let’s take a look at what kind of games are made with which engine

Unity tag cloud:

Unreal tag cloud:

Godot tag cloud:

Unity is used about equally for 2D and 3D games. We also notice that Unity games are often tagged with ‘brighter’ tags such as ‘Colorful’ or ‘Cute’

On the other hand, we see that Unreal is used primarily for 3D games. Tags like ‘FPS’, ‘Third-Person’, ‘First-Person’, ‘Realistic’ and ‘Shooter’ are dominant and reflect the nature of the engine.

Godot is used primarily for 2D games, with tags like ‘Pixel Graphics’ and ‘Platformer’

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the engine is just a tool and it doesn’t make the game, but still, some engines are better suited for certain games than others. With recent Unity changes, developers will probably start using alternative engines even more. Unity was good as ‘all round’ engine, for simple 2D to complex 3D games, while Unreal is more suitable for larger 3D games, and Godot for smaller 2D games.

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