What is the best mobile game development program?

Developers often want to know what the best game engine and mobile game development platform is. We surveyed 15,000 mobile developers to find out.

June 24, 2017

ctalyst what is the best mobile game development program banner

Developers often asked what is the best development platform or mobile game development program?

The answer to what's the best game engine is highly subjective and depends on many things such as your experience, the programming language(s) the you prefer, the type of game you are making, the developers budget, the time the you have, and … well, so much more.

So instead of trying to answer the game engine question by ourselves, we surveyed over 15,000 game developers from around the world and asked them what their favorite game development program is.  And just to be clear, we use the phrase "game development program" interchangeably with "game development engine" and "development platform".

But first, my gratuitous and shameless self-promotion: you can buy Disrupted Logic’s ctalyst Game Developer Survey on Amazon, or if you’re a game developer and sign up for a free ctalyst account, I’ll give you a PDF copy at no charge. The report has a lot of great information in it and I recommend you grab a copy while you can.

Developers are usually looking for a game development platform that allows them the greatest flexibility and creative freedom to design, develop, and publish their mobile game titles. The also look for a platform that is easy to use and has a lot of support from the user community. The game engine cannot get in the way of their creativity and cost them extra development time.

ctalyst what is the best mobile game development program engine popularity

From our survey, we found that Unity 3D is the most popular game development engine by far. 41.2% of all mobile game development is done using the Unity game engine.

29.4% of the developers surveyed said they use “other tools” and I’ll explain those in a moment.

After Unity3D, in-house tools ranked at 27.5% of developers. In-house tools could include game development platforms from a proprietary owned game engine to quite literally hard-coding every line. 15.7% of developers use GameMaker Studio, and 3.9% of developers have chose UnReal Engine as their preferred mobile game development program.

ctalyst what is the best mobile game development program game engine

In the “Other” category, 20% of developers are using LibGDX, with another 20% using the Corona game engine. 13.33% are using Game Salad as their mobile game development program, with another 13.33% using Cocos2D. A total of 6.67% of all developers surveyed reported using Marmalade, Buildbox, and Adobe Animate as their game development program.

What is really interesting is that 13.33% of all developers surveyed were using the native tools for the platform(s) they are developing on. This would include XCode and tools like Eclipse or the replacement Android Studio.

ctalyst what is the best mobile game development program tools used

Our UE4 or Unity 3D: Which One is Better For Developers and Why? article offers a fantastic comparison of different engines.

If you’re new to game development and are looking for a well rounded, robust development platform, has a lot of free tutorials from beginner to advanced, well supported within the community, and offers a wide range of publishing options, take a look at either the Unity 3D mobile game development platform or the UnReal Engine game development program. Both offer free versions of their game engine.

Tom Raycove
Founder/CEO
https://ctalyst.com

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