The global cloud gaming market (henceforth referred to as the market studied) was valued at USD 612.31 million in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 5370.37 million by 2026, registering a CAGR of 45.2% during the period of 2021-2026. These platforms are increasingly attracting more than hundreds and thousands of new visitors in online traffic. According to Verizon’s study, there has been a 115% increase in gaming usage in the United States alone, compared to a general day before COVID-19. The live streaming services and online gaming platforms also continued to break their records for concurrent users throughout March and April 2020. An increase in gaming traffic was witnessed during peak hours by 75% over the last year.
- Cloud gaming is an emerging technology across the gaming industry, allowing the user to stream high-end games across hand-held devices, such as laptops, tablets, and mobiles, with fast network connectivity, thereby eliminating the requirement for a regular hardware upgrade gaming console/PC/laptop. Such factors are expected to have a positive impact on the market’s growth. Additionally, leveraging cloud technology in the gaming industry is likely to fuel the demand and engagement of multi-players for different games, boosting the market growth during the forecast period.
- Cloud gaming, which has been considered a revolution in the gaming sector, is expected to remove existing cost and platform barriers. It is also predicted to dwell well with 5G. The cloud gaming platforms are expected to present multiple benefits to the gamers, who will have access to various high-quality titles without the need for expensive hardware. The developers, publishers, and platforms will witness more profits with greater reach and more ways to monetize their solutions. However, the companies owning most parts of the value chain, right from the IP to infrastructure, will benefit the most and other gaming sectors.
- The advent of cloud gaming has also removed the constant need for hardware upgrades, and players across the globe will be able to play cloud games on their existing devices or possibly on future devices that may have low specs but can accommodate games that can be played on the cloud. The biggest opportunity for vendors in the segment is to access the smartphone gamers, who comprise a significant share of the gaming audience and who prefer to play PC and console games easily on their mobile devices.
- As cloud gaming platforms, such as Google Stadia and PlayStation, already exist in the market, they primarily target console and PC players. With 5G services launching across multiple countries, it is expected that cloud gaming services will also increase in the market, leveraging the mobile ubiquity and fast 5G connections to provide AAA quality gaming to smartphone users. Cloud gaming services from game publishers and mobile network operators will also drive the adoption of cloud gaming on mobile devices.
Key Market Trends
Smartphones Adoption to Drive the Market Growth
- The evolution of cloud gaming is an emerging technology across the gaming industry, which allows the user to stream high-end games across smartphones, with fast network connectivity, thereby eliminating the requirement for regular hardware upgrades or gaming consoles/PCs/laptops.
- The increasing demand for mobile games is a direct result of the various technological advancements in cloud gaming, such as AR, VR, 5G. This trend is not surprising, considering the mobile game industry primarily relies on new technology. A poll conducted by the Mobile Video Industry Council suggests that mobile operators expect cloud gaming will generate 25-50% of 5G data traffic by 2022.
- The State of Mobile in 2020 report by App Annie suggests that mobiles are positioned as the most popular gaming platform, holding more than a 55% market share and registering spending of over USD 100 billion by mobile game consumers across all application stores in 2020 with 80 billion mobile game downloads. In addition, the total number of mobile game downloads in 2020 registered an 18% year-on-year growth from 2019. The report also suggests that cloud gaming is expected to become increasingly relevant across smartphones, coexisting with the global mobile gaming market.
- The release of 5G and the emergence of unlimited data plans are also expected to be key factors aiding the success of cloud gaming across the world, as most gamers today prefer playing games on their mobile devices. In addition, the increasing services and investments into 5G infrastructure are important toward this success. According to Ericsson, the number of 5G mobile subscriptions in the Asia-Pacific region is anticipated to reach around 1,545 million by 2025.
Asia Pacific to Witness the Highest Growth
- The increasing prevalence of cloud infrastructure has provided abundant computing, storage, and communication resources in a reliable, cost-effective, and low-maintenance manner. Various applications may employ these cloud computing resources, and gaming services have been acknowledged as one of the fastest-growing sectors in China for cloud computing.
- With the emergence of cloud gaming platforms that allow users to stream their favorite video games rather than download them on smartphones or any gaming consoles, the market is witnessing new platform launches. For instance, in April 2019, Tencentstarted testing a cloud gaming service called "Start. “ The company has started deploying these solutions in several test markets, including China, where the company is letting a select group of users sign up for the service. The company’s strategic move is to get ahead of its competitors in the next big gaming industry trend.
- Japan is one of the prominent players in the gaming market in the world after China and the United States. With the rapid growth of technological adaption and many leading gaming companies, such as Sony, Nintendo, Konami, others, for decades in the country, the country’s gaming market is evolving and expected to grow significantly during the forecast period.
- With one of the world’s largest youth populations, India is expected to become one of the world’s leading market destinations in the gaming industry. The growth in the country is driven by the growing younger population, higher disposable incomes, the introduction of new gaming genres, and the increasing number of smartphone and tablet users.
The cloud gaming market is concentrated, with few companies gaining the major market share. Companies like Tencent are partnering with other tech giants to build bigger and better cloud gaming services. Other companies, like Google, Nvidia, PlayStation, and Vortex, are providing smarter gaming solutions.
- February 2021 - RemoteMy app partnered with PM to connect a global network of MNOs to capture the opportunities in the cloud gaming market.
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