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Wii U a distant fifth as a game development platform, but it's on the rise

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While future Wii U game development remains surprisingly low, according to the most recent annual Game Developers Conference poll, the percentage of developers planning to release a game on the Wii U actually rose slightly in 2014.

Nearly 6 percent of those survey participants said they anticipated that their next game would be released on the Wii U, GDC officials told Polygon. That's compared to about 4 percent the previous year, and 4.6 percent in the 2013 poll. And 6 percent of those surveyed said the game they are currently developing will see release on Wii U, according to the survey.

Organizers of the Game Developers Conference today released its annual state of the industry report. The report, which polled more than 2,000 North American game developers who attended GDC 2014, is meant to provide a snapshot of the game industry. GDC officials provided Polygon with the statistics on Wii U development, which were not included in the day's press release.

Keeping in mind that this survey doesn't differentiate between platform exclusives and cross-platform titles, PC's popularity as a platform for developers rose in 2014, increasing from 53 percent to 56 percent of developers planning to release a game on the ubiquitous platform. Mobile was a close second, though it dropped in 2014 from 52 percent to 50 percent .

Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One saw a jump in popularity as a platform to develop for, according to the survey. Of those polled, 29 percent said they expect their next game to be on the PlayStation 4 and 24 percent said they expect it to be on the Xbox One.

Perhaps more important than where developers plan to release their next game, was how studios did last year. More than 40 percent said they had higher profits in 2014 than in the previous year, while 20 percent said they remained essentially the same. The survey also showed that those profits were put to good use, with 44 percent saying their staff expanded in 2014, 38 percent staying at the same headcount and 15 percent letting people go.

Other interesting statistics include that more than one in every 10 developers surveyed said they are working on an eSport game and that 79 percent of those surveyed see eSports as a long-term, sustainable business.

The survey also found that 29 percent of those who responded said they made most of their profit from direct sales to consumers or digital sales, while 21 percent said micro-transactions were their primary source of profit. Only 13 percent said retail sales made up a bulk of their profit.

This year's GDC will run March 2-6 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.