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The global cloud gaming market size was valued at USD 1.72 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 3.24 billion in 2022 to USD 40.81 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 43.6% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with cloud gaming experiencing higher-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a growth of 86.2% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Cloud gaming is the future of the gaming industry. The cloud service plays a key role in delivering a smooth gaming experience to customers' entire devices without additional hardware configuration. The growing desire for a low-latency, inventive, and immersive gaming experience will fuel the market growth rate. Gamers may play games directly via an external cloud server without having to download the complete game. They can play these games on any device type, lowering the cost of storage space and hardware setup.
For instance, in August 2021, Microsoft Corporation launched a gaming service on Xbox Consoles. The company aims to expand the offering to consoles such as Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, and Xbox One machines. Similarly, according to a report by Snapt, Inc. in July 2021, the market trends may reach a point where the cost of administering an ever-larger network makes expanding into new territories and reaching new audiences unprofitable.
Lockdown and Stay at Home Restriction to Boost Market Growth amid COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted manufacturing and supply chain businesses. Manufacturing units had temporary shutdowns or 50% operating capacity, supply chain interruptions, material shortages, and international border closures due to the pandemic, among other things. This has a negative influence on the supply of hardware products such as cellphones, smart TVs, laptops, personal computers, and consoles.
However, due to lockdown restrictions across regions, cloud-based gaming devices, services and solutions saw a surge in demand during the pandemic. During the lockdown, demand for cloud-based games increased since they do not require additional hardware and can be played on any device. Also, during the lockdown, people worldwide turned to cloud-based gaming and digital entertainment platforms to pass their time.
In 2020, Verizon Communications' gaming platform experienced a significant increase in demand. Several gaming companies, including AWS Games, WinZo Games, and Microsoft Corporation platforms, saw a significant increase in traffic during the pandemic. As a result, the stay-at-home and lockdown restriction redirected customer attention toward a cloud-based gaming experience. In January 2021, Mint study, COVID-19 accelerated the gaming industry's growth, with many new players flocking to online gaming sites during the shutdown.
Further, according to the Mint survey, the average time spent on these gaming apps has climbed by 21%. In the middle of the outbreaks, many significant players saw it as a chance to attract additional customers and establish cloud-based gaming platforms. For instance, in May 2021, ATechnos launched GoGames. Run, a premium gaming as a service platform. It will provide users with various games, including virtual reality and action games.
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Rising Mobile Cloud Gaming Trend Likely to Boost Market Growth
Today's increasingly digital environment is driving smartphone adoption. According to the GSMAi Report, 2019 had 5.2 billion smartphone connections, while 2025 is expected to see 80% smartphone usage. Given the increasing popularity of smartphones, game developers are working on creating mobile gaming environments for players. Network providers are also investing in mobile gaming to provide better experiences through high-performance connectivity.
Further, users may improve their gaming experience on any platform and location by using high-end smartphones, cloud technologies, and 5G infrastructures. A low-latency, high-quality gaming experience may be provided for mobile gaming. Furthermore, according to Ericsson's analysis, in October 2020, 22 service providers have already launched mobile cloud gaming services out of 106. According to the survey, there are around 2.4 billion mobile gamers globally. As a result, the growing trend of cloud-based mobile gaming is expected to boost the market.
5G Technology’s Low-latency Capability to Drive the Cloud Gaming Market Growth
Market players are attempting to reduce technological barriers and related high costs to attract all gamer types existing globally. It is critical to achieve low latency in gaming services to give an immersive and unique gaming experience. With its low-latency capability, 5G technology provides additional assistance to providers. Cloud-based gaming is being reinvented to provide a better gaming experience with the launch of 5G. For instance, in October 2020, according to a Wipro whitepaper, many players are planning to switch to 5G technology and spend extra to have a better gaming experience. As a result, the low-latency capabilities of 5G technology are expected to drive the market growth even further.
Similarly, key market players and telecom providers are forming alliances and collaborations to give gamers a 5G gaming experience. For instance, in 2021, S K Telecom and SingTel worked together to entice gamers using technologies like multi-access edge computing (MEC) and 5G. Similarly, in October 2020, POST Luxembourg, an EU mobile operator, partnered with Blacknut to offer a 5G gaming service. This is anticipated to fuel the market growth in the near future. Also, according to a May 2022 report by VentureBeat, Activision Blizzard beat analyst earrings projections by 50%, owing to the mobile version of its Call of Duty game.
Latency and Responsiveness Issues to Hinder Market Potential
Streaming games on a cloud platform needs a low latency network with high bitrates and adequate bandwidth. However, the expense of establishing a connection to the internet with the required performance may be too expensive in some countries. Latency and responsiveness can be an issue if the appropriate network and bandwidth requirements are not satisfied. However, as telecom companies begin to deliver high-speed connectivity and key organizations, such as Microsoft Corporation and Google LLC, invest in data servers, the restricting factor may be removed in future.
Smartphone Segment to Grow Rapidly Backed by Investment in 5G Technology
Based on device, the market is categorized into smartphones, laptop/tablets, personal computer (PC), smart TV, and consoles. The laptop/tablets and personal computer segments are expected to lead the market during the forecast period. Early adoption of gaming laptops and PCs and the availability of high-end computers are encouraging the acceptance of innovative games.
However, the increased availability of low-cost internet subscriptions and investments in 5G technology are likely to increase the possibilities for gaming on smartphones and smart TVs. The growing use of smartphones is expected to improve the potential of cloud-based gaming solutions. As a result, the smartphone and smart TV segments are expected to increase rapidly throughout the projection period.
Minimum Requirement of Hardware to Propel the Video Streaming Segment
Based on streaming type, the market is bifurcated into video streaming and file streaming. Also, owing to its capability to work after downloading a small portion of the file, the file streaming segment is expected to lead the market at first. As a result, gamers give game file patches and assist the developer in lowering the cost of developing media material.
The video streaming segment is expected to increase rapidly throughout the forecast period since it can be played on any device without requiring any special technology. It has also significantly decreased the latency issue for cloud gamers. In addition, several players, including Shadow, GeForce Now, Vortex, LiquidSky, and others enable video games.
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High-Quality Streaming Games to Boost the Hardcore Gamers Segment
By end-user, the market is segmented into casual gamers, avid gamers, and hardcore gamers. Further, due to increased investment in advanced and creative gaming solutions, the hardcore gamers segment is expected to rise rapidly throughout the projection period. Market participants are heavily investing in rich media content to provide high-quality streaming games on devices such as smart TVs, laptop computers, smartphones, and others. Hardcore gamers are expected to increase their use of cloud-based gaming solutions as a result of this and are further anticipated to drive the growth of the market in near future.
The casual gamers segment is likely to lead the market during the projected period. The increased efficiency of internet facilities and the widespread availability of smartphones are fueling demand in the casual gaming market. Similarly, 5G and low-cost cloud-based technologies will promote the gaming trend among the avid gamers segment.
North America Cloud Gaming Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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Geographically, the market of cloud gaming is fragmented into five major regions such as North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. They are further categorized into countries.
North America is anticipated to gain considerable cloud gaming market share. Early acceptance of cloud technology, rising demand for online gaming, and widespread availability of efficient internet infrastructure are projected to boost the market expansion in North America.
Similarly, the expanding gaming sector in Europe is expected to increase the region's cloud gaming business. These expanding potential propel massive collaboration, investment, and acquisition in the Europe gaming sector. For instance, in March 2021, the European Commission approved Microsoft Corporation's acquisition of ZeniMax Media, a game developer and publisher.
Asia Pacific is likely to dominate the market. The region's growth is driven by rising demand for gaming content from Japan, India, China, and South Korea. Also, the increased smartphone penetration in these nations is likely to drive the worldwide gaming industry. Attributed to increased telecom and 5G infrastructure investments, China is expected to lead the market throughout the forecast period. Japan will see quick growth throughout the predicted period due to the existence of key market participants of cloud gaming.
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Latin America and the Middle East & Africa are predicted to increase constantly. The growing popularity of smartphones is likely to fuel the potential for cloud-based gaming in Latin America. Similarly, increased investment by major market players in the MEA region will surge the demand for gaming. For instance, in June 2020, Blacknut introduced its cloud-based 400 family-friendly premium games in Israel with collaboration with Partner TV.
Key Players are Entering into Strategic Partnership to Expand Business Potentials
Prominent key market players of cloud gaming collaborate with several other gaming platform providers to build the platform and utilize it to reach out to more target customers. These players work together to provide users with high-performance cloud-based games. In addition, several major players are investing in developing new and unique games. Also, players focus on the worldwide market by simultaneously launching new games in all countries, owing to cloud-based deployment.
September 2021 – NVIDIA Corporation collaborated with Electronic Arts Inc. to expand the game portfolio on GeForce NOW's gaming platform. Through this partnership, Electronic Arts brought its hit games to NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW. The company added games such as Mirror's Edge Catalyst, Battlefield 1 Revolution, Dragon Age: Inquisition and Apex Legends and Unravel Two on NVIDIA gaming service.
April 2021 – Blacknut partnered with the communications and entertainment group NOS to provide the gaming experience with 5G across Portugal. The collaboration aims to offer 500+ games to play over the 5G network. After the launch of 5G technology, NOS delivered Backnut’s gaming service directly to customers.
November 2020 – Tencent partnered with Intel Corporation to launch GameMatrix, a new gaming platform. Collectively, the company aims to offer more than 100 popular games as well as Tencent's low-power and low-latency, high-density android gaming solution.
November 2020 – Ubitus Inc. launched an Android gaming solution in collaboration with Intel Corporation. The system is based on an Intel Server GPU, which results in improved gaming performance.
An Infographic Representation of Cloud Gaming Market
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The research report highlights leading regions across the world to offer a better understanding of the user. Furthermore, it provides insights into the latest industry trends and analyzes technologies deployed at a rapid pace at the global level. It further highlights some of the growth-stimulating factors and restraints, helping the reader gain in-depth knowledge about the market.
Value (USD billion)
By Device, Streaming Type, End-user, and Region
By Streaming Type
The market is projected to reach USD 40.81 billion by 2029.
In 2021, the market stood at USD 1.72 billion.
The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 43.6% in the forecast period (2022-2029).
The casual gamer end-user segment is likely to lead the market.
5G technologys low-latency capability is the key factor driving the market growth.
Microsoft Corporation, NVIDIA Corporation, Ubitus Inc., Vortex, Google Inc., Amazon Inc., and Intel Corporation are the top players in the market.
Asia Pacific is expected to hold the highest market share.
The smartphone segment is expected to grow with the highest CAGR.
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