Proliferation of smartphones in developing countries of Asia Pacific presents remunerative growth opportunities. The global cloud gaming market is witnessing a stupendous increase in the number of mobile gaming enthusiasts. Increasing disposable income of consumers drives the sales of high-performance smartphones which further increase the adoption of cloud gaming. Partial or complete lockdowns are further propelling preference for cloud gaming as an ideal choice of in-house entertainment. Multi-players online battle arenas such as PUBG, Call of Duty, and VainGlory are the most popular cloud games. These games have created an entire ecosystem that serves as a growth driver for the market.
The Wave of Change on Online Gaming Industry
Most high definition games right now are essentially run from the player’s device. The player downloads a storage heavy mobile app and the gaming company acts as a central point of contact between players. The gaming company develops new features and rolls them out as app updates. The smooth experience of playing the game is dependent on the technical specifications of the smartphone that users own. The cloud aspect of this setting is hosting a game between players from different parts of the world and ensuring that every download of the gaming app is updated.
However, with true cloud gaming technology, the entire gaming infrastructure resides on a remote server and the user’s smartphone acts as an interaction terminal. Users will not need to download a big sized mobile app to play. Advancements in hyperscale cloud capabilities, media streaming services, and global content delivery networks are founding pillars of the cloud gaming market. It is by leveraging these technologies and increasing internet connectivity that cloud gaming presents a highly lucrative opportunity for gaming companies around the world.
Here are a few trends that cloud gaming would bring in the online gaming industry
As gaming companies and cloud infrastructure providers aim to shift a largely on-device market to cloud based gaming. These trends will greatly influence the growth trajectory of the market.
The Real-time Cloud Gaming Challenge
One of the biggest challenges that market players face is the technical aspect of online cloud based gaming. Usually, the game is installed in a local drive and the streaming takes place with the help of the gaming device and the company servers. Each player views a different angle of the gaming stream and constantly impacts the stream by interacting with the gameplay. It has been possible to provide smooth gaming experience until now because of the presence of a local disk drive created by the gaming application.
Game streaming also adapts to the device’s specification and delivers different bit rates based on the display size, and performance specifications such as RAM, and Internal storage of the device. But when we think about shifting the same onto an entirely cloud based infrastructure, the challenges are really difficult.
As there is no gaming app installed on the local storage of the device, the to-and-fro communication requires high bandwidth internet connectivity. Unlike the current online games, cloud games do not have a local file installed in the device. Hence, game streaming is entirely dependent on the cloud infrastructures ability to adapt to bit rate capabilities of the gaming device. Further, as most games are online multiplayer, it becomes a complex task to stream and customize the gaming stream based on the gameplay inputs of each individual player. The success of online gaming companies is majorly dependent on the smoothness of the real time gaming experience. Cloud gaming developers will have to devise a bandwidth efficient way to provide seamless gaming experience without the help of gaming files in local storage of each device.
An Opportunity Emerges amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Government bans on non-essential movement of consumers, and lockdowns of non-essential services has created a highly lucrative opportunity for market players. The fact that cloud gaming is device independent serves as a beneficial factor for market growth. Cloud gaming can attract, engage, and delight a multiplying consumer base. From low income consumers, to the occasional gamer, the time is ripe for innovation and introduction of cloud based games.
Prevalent trends such as social distancing, and work-from-home has left consumers with a lot of time to invest in entertainment. Companies can now garner more consumers as compared to pre-pandemic days. There are a few factors that work in favor of cloud gaming companies. The fact that cloud games can be developed with the help of a remote working force, shields the cloud gaming market with the impact of value chain disruption caused by COVID-19. Product features such as device independent deployment create an attractive market offering. The search for entertainment during self-quarantine further impels the adoption of cloud gaming technologies.
Online gaming has witnessed an exponential increase in the user base ever since the first lockdown. Now that we are a few months in the lockdown state, and the future seems to be a long stretch of self-quarantine till Q3 2020. There has never been a better time to enter the gaming market. Cloud gaming developers must leverage these favorable factors and take the first mover’s advantage to garner profitable market value share.
By Streaming Type
By Device Usage
By End User
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The Cloud gaming ecosystem is evolving with advancements in gaming technology. The enhanced user experience offered by the cloud in gaming is developing new profitable prospects for the vendors. With enhanced penetration of internet and mobile networks, the demand for cloud-based games has substantially increased. Different positive attributes including click-to-play simplicity, and any device gaming is inflating the adoption rate of these games. Besides advancements, the ease of accessing games along with the reduced purchase cost of these games also act as major growth drivers in the market. Introduction of multiplayer games have surged the popularity and adoption rate of these games, generating new revenue pockets for the market players. The reduced installation cost and time also have a significant impact on market expansion.
North America is expected to capture a huge chunk of the market owing to a significant surge in the adoption rate of cloud technologies. APAC is emerging as a prominent region in the market in terms of revenue generation on the back of scaling number of internet users and high digitalization. The market in Europe and Latin America is projected to exhibit a high growth rate with accelerating adoption of smartphone and internet services. Major Players in the market are Sony, Google, Microsoft Corporation, Samsung Electronics, CiiNow, Inc., and IBM Corporation.