The gaming industry is evolving rapidly, driven by technological advancements and changing consumer demands. This market research of the 80 Level Research Team aims to explore the various aspects of future development in the gaming industry.
Market Potential and Growth Projection
The demand for this research arises from the growing interest and investment in innovative gaming solutions. The global games market will generate revenues of $187.7 billion, with year-on-year growth of +2.6%, industry stakeholders are keen to understand the market dynamics, emerging trends, and player preferences to make informed business decisions.
Cloud gaming is a promising technology for both game developers and players. In 2021, the cloud gaming market generated $1.67 billion and is likely to rise to $4.34 billion in 2023 (Source: Statista). Industry experts also predict that over 2.5 billion gamers will use cloud gaming in 2024.
With the rise of cloud gaming capabilities, there is a need to explore the advantages, disadvantages, and consumers' readiness to pay and play games before downloading them.
However, it is vital to remember that despite the booming trend of cloud gaming, many providers struggle financially due to the high user acquisition costs (based on the 80 Level Research on Cloud gaming with a qualitative approach). Google Stadia's downfall sparked debates on the future of cloud gaming. To address these challenges, the 80 Level Research team has studied gamer preferences in cloud gaming.
Infrastructure for New Solutions
This report results from a survey conducted by the 80 Level Research Team. The survey included a sample size of 700 gamers who are part of the 80 Level Research Panel, ensuring a knowledgeable participant base.
More than half of respondents not only have a 5G-enabled device (55%), but the majority are actively using 5G networks (57% use 5G whenever possible, and 32% use it sometimes, depending on the circumstances).
High ownership of PCs (Desktop or Laptop) at 91% suggests that the vast majority of gamers already have the necessary hardware infrastructure to support cloud gaming solutions. The high ownership of Android smartphones at 57% & iPhones at 29% (86% total) indicates that a significant proportion of gamers have access to mobile gaming and suggests they may be open to cloud gaming solutions that are accessible on their smartphones.
An Era of New Features: Remote Play and Play-Before-Downloading
A quarter of gamers play with other people almost every time. In half of the cases, gamers play with others occasionally, but not every time. And, in 23% of cases, playing games with others rarely or never occurs. These findings highlight the importance of remote play features, enabling players to engage in multiplayer experiences.
A fascinating narrative unfolds within the vast gaming landscape as we delve into gamers' preferences regarding remote play features. A notable 43% express a genuine curiosity and enthusiasm for utilizing remote play as a powerful tool for learning from mentors or friends who have achieved mastery at higher levels. In contrast, 33% stand firm in their preference for independent gaming experiences. And one-fourth of gamers surveyed were uncertain about their interest in remote play.
Only a third of respondents consider having the option to play a game without downloading it as important, while almost half of respondents do not find it important. This response indicates that there is a significant portion of the market that may not prioritize play before download feature.
Factors Influencing Cloud Gaming Adoption
The next set of insights provides a comprehensive understanding of the advantages of cloud gaming.
- Half of the responses emphasized “lower cost than buying new hardware or physical games” as one of the biggest advantages of cloud gaming, eliminating the need for expensive gaming hardware or purchasing physical game copies.
- Better accessibility for people with hardware devices of a lower price (44%.) Cloud gaming allows users with lower-end hardware to enjoy high-quality gaming experiences by leveraging the power of remote servers.
- Cloud gaming provides the flexibility to play games seamlessly across various devices, allowing users to switch between platforms without losing progress. 37% of respondents agree with this statement.
- Access to a wider variety of games and genres seems relevant to a third of gamers surveyed.
- Better performance and graphics quality is something a fifth of respondents found significant when choosing the advantages of cloud gaming computing.
Understanding the advantages and limitations of Cloud Gaming allows businesses to develop strategies that address potential challenges while leveraging the unique benefits it offers to cater to the evolving needs of gamers.
The 2 most dominant limitations of Cloud Gaming for the majority of gamers include the following:
- Clour Gaming may be affected by latency or delays, which can impact the real-time responsiveness of gameplay. This is a Cloud Gaming limitation that the majority of gamers (76%) point out.
- The quality of the gaming experience in Cloud Gaming relies heavily on stable and high-speed internet connections, making it less suitable for areas with limited or inconsistent internet access. 68% of gamers consider it a Cloud Gaming disadvantage.
There were other limitations of Cloud Gaming that still bother gamers — though to a lesser degree:
- Limited game selection or availability is relevant to 21% of respondents.
- Limited availability of cloud gaming in certain geographic regions applies to a fifth of the responses.
- Storing personal data on cloud gaming platforms raises privacy and security concerns for 17% of gamers, requiring robust measures to protect user information from potential breaches.
- In 1 out of 7 cases, the dependence on cloud gaming providers will likely stop gamers from choosing Cloud Gaming services or subscriptions.
- 14% of gamers see Clour Gaming's limitations in streaming high-definition graphics and sound in real-time.
- The least of players' Cloud Gaming concerns is the ability to customize game settings or controls. Only 9% find it concerning.
A significant portion (27%) of respondents are not yet ready to pay for a Cloud Gaming service, indicating a need for education and awareness-building regarding the value and benefits of Cloud Gaming to encourage potential customers to consider paying. 34% of respondents are willing to spend between $10 and $30 monthly on Cloud Gaming. This suggests that pricing models within this range can potentially attract a substantial customer base.
Article cover art by Fabio Mamone