20 Fascinating Cloud Gaming Statistics
Updated: August 18,2022
The future is in the cloud. The digital cloud, that is. As a matter of fact, we’re already relying on the cloud for our everyday activities. Our vacation photos and documents are kept in a cloud. We can also play games via the cloud.
Gaming is what’s pushing the limits of this industry. That’s why we’ll be looking at some interesting cloud gaming statistics to see how many gamers choose game streaming over downloading. In this article, you’ll also learn about the leading cloud-based companies, their products, and what the future holds for cloud gaming.
Cloud Gaming Market Size
The cloud gaming market is expected to grow rapidly in the next few years. This is because more and more people are getting used to streaming games instead of downloading them. A number of companies are currently competing in this market, and it’s expected that the competition will continue to heat up. As a result, gamers can expect to see even better products and services in the near future.
1. The global market for cloud gaming is worth $1.57 billion.
The demand for cloud gaming, game streaming, and related services is rapidly increasing. In 2021, the value of this market not only surpassed $1 billion but more than doubled its worth from the previous year. In fact, cloud gaming is one of the fastest-growing markets in the video game industry.
2. Companies that offer cloud gaming services recorded $669 million in revenue during 2020.
Despite being in its infancy, cloud gaming is bringing in a lot of money for companies that have decided to take the plunge with this new technology. The biggest players in the market are Microsoft, Sony, GeForce, Amazon, Google, and Tencent. Each company offers a slightly different take on cloud gaming, so the gaming crowd has a lot of options to choose from.
3. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 57.2% by 2030.
Just how fast is cloud gaming becoming mainstream? Based on cloud gaming stats gathered and analyzed so far, the compound annual growth rate is so high due to increased demand for quicker game delivery. For example, during the first year of the pandemic, people spent 71% more time playing video games than before, and most of them have continued to enjoy this activity.
4. The value of the cloud gaming market is expected to surpass $21 billion by 2030.
Analysts anticipate that this decade will be the period when cloud gaming and game streaming finally take off. The platforms are more stable, 5G internet is becoming more common, and it all works on smartphones, too. Pretty much any basic phone you’d buy for your kids is able to run these apps, allowing them to play video games just like they would on a console. Since more people would rather buy a phone than a console, it’s obvious where the market is heading.
5. Annual spending on cloud gaming will surpass $6 billion in 2024.
Analyzing the statistics on cloud gaming, experts predict that cloud gaming will be bringing even more money to the companies that either provide services or games to play through the cloud. Granted, it’s still far from the revenue of mobile and console gaming, but for a rather new technology it’s an impressive feat.
Cloud Gaming Growth and User Base
The cloud gaming user base is expected to increase significantly in the upcoming years. Most of the growth will come from new users, especially in the APAC region. This growth is driven by a number of factors, including improvements in mobile network quality and latency, the rise of 5G, and the increasing popularity of streaming services. As cloud gaming becomes more popular, we can expect to see innovative gameplay experiences and competitive pricing among providers.
6. 94% of the consumers who are aware of cloud gaming have tried it or plan to do so.
Gaming has been in the mainstream for many years now and is mostly about either playing on a console or a dedicated gaming PC. Things are changing, though, so it comes as no surprise that some new formats, like game streaming, are gaining traction. Out of those surveyed consumers who know what cloud gaming is, 50% have actually played a game through one of the cloud-based gaming services.
7. It’s estimated that there are 23.7 million gamers who play in the cloud.
The cloud gaming user base is growing stronger by the day. Nearly every subscription service has seen significant growth throughout the year (more on that in a bit) and a lot of gamers are now accustomed to streaming their games instead of downloading them.
8. 51% of cloud gamers are casual gamers.
As gaming demographics shift and the audience gets older, it has less time to dedicate to gaming. Cloud gaming seems to be a format that caters to people who play games casually instead of putting aside several hours a day for this hobby. Instant loading and no dependence on a console or a gaming PC with a powerful (and expensive) GPU are clearly the reasons why the casual crowd prefers to play games via the cloud.
9. The biggest market for cloud gaming is the Asia Pacific, accounting for 40% of the cloud gaming market share.
Since mobile gaming is the most popular way to enjoy video games across Asia, it comes as no surprise that this region accounts for almost half of the whole market. Big Asian tech companies like Alibaba launched their services for cloud gaming recently, catering to increased market demands.
Cloud Gaming Services: Statistics and Market Leaders
While there are many cloud gaming services available, some are certainly a cut above the rest. In this section, we'll take a look at the leading cloud gaming providers and what sets them apart.
10. More than 10 million consumers have played games through Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Originally known as xCloud, Microsoft’s streaming service allows playing PC and Xbox games on both of these devices, along with Android and iOS devices, through the Game Pass subscription. Xbox Cloud Gaming is currently available in 26 countries and supports 350+ titles.
11. Microsoft Flight Simulator is the most played Xbox Cloud Gaming title.
Within just two months of launching through the cloud service, the latest Flight Simulator game took the world by storm. As one of the most graphically demanding games, it was out of reach for many players, especially during the ongoing chip shortage, which led to skyrocketing GPU prices.
12. PlayStation Now has 3.2 million active subscribers.
Continuing with console cloud gaming statistics, we’ll now switch to the Sony PlayStation side. PlayStation’s subscription service has been perceived as a direct competitor to Game Pass ever since it introduced game downloads alongside cloud streaming as its main feature. The subscriber base has been doubling each year after that and is set to grow further when Sony joins the service with PlayStation Plus in 2022.
13. Among American gamers who subscribe to gaming services, 43% use PlayStation Now.
Cloud gaming statistics for the US market indicate that gaming subscriptions, as a whole, don’t attract a particularly large crowd right now. Specifically, every other gamer said they have a subscription, but only 21% of the total segment of gamers said they have a PlayStation Now subscription. The majority of gamers, as expected, use this service to play console games on, well, their consoles - PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
14. PC gamers make up 33% of the PlayStation Now user base in the US.
On the PC cloud gaming statistics side, it’s interesting to see how many people use their PlayStation Now subscription to play PlayStation games on their PCs. It was only until recently that Sony avoided porting its most popular franchises to PC, so this service has been the only way for a gamer to enjoy the first-party exclusives. That is, without buying a console.
15. It’s estimated that Google Stadia has 2 million users.
Google’s streaming service has failed to find as big an audience as Microsoft’s. Although the tech giant doesn’t reveal sales numbers and data about its user base, Reddit users estimated that the number of active Stadia users could be around 2 million. Looking at the download stats for the mobile app and some other pertinent data, as well as reports of Google shutting down Stadia studios, the future of Stadia doesn’t look that bright.
16. Three years after launch, Stadia is available in just 10% of the planned markets.
The plans to bring Stadia to all 220 markets where other Google services are available hasn’t come to fruition. Years after launch, the cloud gaming service hasn’t grown beyond the initial 20 markets where it was launched.
17. GeForce Now has more than 6 million users.
Nvidia’s streaming service was launched in 2020, and in just a year, millions of people started using it to play their games through the cloud. There are now over 800 games available through GeForce Now, provided by 300+ game publishers. Unlike other cloud gaming companies, GeForce Now doesn’t act as a store but instead provides streaming of games that are already on digital storefronts like Steam and Origin.
18. GeForce Now users streamed 175 million hours of gameplay in the service’s first year.
The streaming service had a truly impressive first year. Out of 175 million hours of total play time, 100 million were recorded in multiplayer games and 16 million in indie titles. The biggest game was Cyberpunk 2077, which GeForce Now users played for over 4 million hours with ray tracing effects turned on.
19. Amazon Luna scored a 69% satisfaction rate among US gamers.
Amazon’s foray into the cloud gaming landscape was met with high praise. According to game streaming statistics, this service currently has the highest satisfaction rate of all streaming services, with 69% of users giving it a score of 5/5 while 23% gave it a 4 out of 5.
20. Playing Amazon Luna at 4K resolution consumes 23 GB of internet traffic per hour.
Both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X offer native 4K gaming, but streaming services are lagging behind this tech, primarily due to bandwidth requirements. Video at such a high resolution takes up a lot of data. So much, in fact, that Amazon Luna had to introduce the 720p option for users with a slower internet connection.
Final Thoughts on Cloud Gaming Statistics
All in all, it doesn’t look like cloud gaming is set to become more popular than console gaming anytime soon. A lot of households simply don’t have an internet connection that’s good enough, the service can become unstable, and the pricing is all over the place. But, substantial progress is being made and will certainly boost interest in the segment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cloud gaming isn’t a particularly large part of the gaming industry right now. Its estimated worth is $1.57 billion, with about 24 million people having used one of the cloud services to play video games. While rather small compared to the rest of the industry, cloud gaming is set to grow the fastest - by more than 50% every year.
According to the latest data, there are currently 23.7 million gamers that play through the cloud.
At the moment, it seems that the Xbox Game Pass is the most popular choice for cloud gaming. Of more than 25 million subscribers, 10 million said they use the platform for game streaming. That’s roughly a 40% conversion rate.
Cloud gaming has a lot of pros and cons. On the one hand, it provides great convenience as it doesn’t require you to download and install games while also allowing you to play pretty much anywhere - on your PC, console, TV, or smartphone. Hence, the popularity of cloud gaming is on the rise.
At the same time, because of the way cloud gaming works, there’s an inherent delay in response times, or lag if you prefer the more technical term. Additionally, the quality still isn’t on par with native performance. If the connection to the streaming server stutters even for a bit, you’ll encounter freezes and pixelation, along with a possible connection drop.
According to some predictions, gaming is moving away from consoles and other dedicated gaming devices. Instead of putting in discs and cartridges, to play a cloud-based game, you just need to fire up an app on your smartphone, TV, or laptop.
Yes, GeForce Now can be used free of charge for one hour per session. As we mentioned in our cloud gaming statistics, it’s also one of the most popular services, supporting many games and devices.
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While Damjan started his career in humanities, his interests quickly moved on to the tech and IT world. VPNs, antiviruses, firewalls, password managers - cybersecurity is what he knows best. When Damjan’s not losing hair over the dwindling of our collective sense of tech safety, you’ll find him looking for solace in 100-hour-long RPGs and rage-inducing MOBAs.