A survey has revealed that European game developers are uninterested in creating games for Microsoft's Xbox One, preferring instead the proposition laid out by Sony's PlayStation 4.
The survey, performed by Game Developer's Conference (GDC), and reprinted by Games Industry International, asked 300 European game developers which console interested them the most and which they are currently making games for.
Only 20% of developers surveyed claimed the Xbox One to be among the "newer markets of most interest right now", well behind Sony's PlayStation 4, which 39% of developers said was among the most interesting to them. Valve's yet unannounced "Steambox" garnered 37% of developer interest while the recently launched, Android-based Ouya claimed 32%.
Despite piquing a large amount of developer interest, the Steambox is yet to be confirmed as actually being in development. The concept, however, would allow players to access games from Valve's digital distribution platform, Steam, via a living-room based console, cutting out the need for physical copies of games and allowing developers to reach consumers with less inteference from publishers.
Tablets were the most intriguing prospect for developers, with 61% of those surveyed calling them the market of the most interest. Nintendo's Wii U, which is currently struggling to win the support of third-party game makers, was of comparatively little appeal, with less than 10% of developers rating it an interesting new platform.
As well as developers, the Xbox One has struggled to gather support from consumers, who have been put off the console due to its restrictive policies surrounding used games and download rights management. Though Microsoft has since retracted these, once again allowing Xbox One users to freely swap used games and play without an internet connection, Sony has already capitalised on Microsoft's negativity publicity.
At E3 2013, before Microsoft backtracked on the Xbox One, the PlayStation 4 was revealed as having no restrictions on used games or offline play, as well as being £80 cheaper than the One.
This lack of consumer interest may be influencing developer's decisions to make games for the Xbox One, as is the case with the Wii U, which lost the support of Electronic Arts due to disappointing sell-through potential.
Indeed, as well as a lack of interest, GDC's survey revealed that only a limited amount of European developers were currently in the process of creating Xbox One games. Only 9% of respondents said they were now working on Xbox One games, compared to 14% who said they were building games for the PS4.
23% of developers surveyed said they were planning on creating a PlayStation 4 game, compared to 14% who would be making an Xbox One game in the future.
Only 5% of respondents said they were developing a game for the Wii U.
Though the consumer backlash against the Xbox One has seemingly knocked onto developers, Microsoft's restrictive policies were originally intended to benefit game makers by ensuring they received a greater financial return on their development costs.
By limiting the trade of used games, Microsoft hoped to ensure that consumers would buy more new copies of games, sending money to developers rather than high street retailers. The restrictions on online connectivity, requiring players to "check-in" and validate their Xbox One via internet every 24-hours, was designed to protect against piracy, since bootleg games or consoles would not pass the online test.
These are limitations already found in PC gaming, where authentication keys are often required to initially play a game disc, which is then rendered useless after installation.
Consumers however seem unprepared to accept the same regulations on consoles.
An unnamed Xbox One developer took to Reddit recently to explain his dissatisfaction with Microsoft's decision to overturn its DRM polices.
A petition to have the policies reinstated has so far gathered more than 25,000 signatures.