The global market for Cloud Gaming is forecast to reach US$4.0 billion by 2024, driven by the rapid digitalization of the media and entertainment industry as evidenced by the growing volume of digital entertainment content; development of digital only supply chains; and changing consumer media consumption habits.
A massive portion of investments in the media and entertainment industry are shifting away from traditional broadcasting and distribution towards digital platforms and models. The cloud capitalizes on the changes underway in consumer behavior induced largely by technology advancements, and Internet/ smartphone penetration. The cloud is optimally positioned to meet changing consumer demand for convenience; more control over entertainment content; more entertainment options; cheaper and affordable yet high quality content. While the explosion of digital media content such as eBooks, videos, online movies, music and news remains a well-known fact, the cloud helps channelize, and monetize this content in disruptive new ways.
Few of the benefits offered by entertainment cloud include streamlining content production workflows; unrivalled expansion of distribution capabilities; better ability to target the ever increasing base of mobile devices and smart devices; agility, efficiency and performance for content owners and service providers; convenience and unrivalled digital experience for customers; and benefits of a network provider-neutral marketplace. Other more operational oriented benefits of the cloud for media and entertainment companies include reduced datacenter footprint by over 75%; faster time-to-market with new entertainment services; quick response times for handling customer demands and grievances; ability to scale networks to manage increase in workloads; ability to perform analytics and big data analysis on large amounts for consumer related data; enables service innovation at reduced costs. As a result, entertainment clouds are rising in popularity as the most preferred vehicle for creating and distributing entertainment content such as music, videos, movies and games.
Rising in popularity under this scenario, is cloud gaming. Defined as the ability to stream video games from the web, cloud gaming involves storage of 2D and 3D games on a cloud server which is then streamed to Internet enabled devices. Cloud gaming enables game developers and game service providers to provide engaging digital media experiences on any platform, anytime, anywhere and build strong consumer loyalty and also to scale their services globally without burdening their existing infrastructure. Few of the major factors driving growth in the cloud gaming market include continuously growing gaming community and all-round innovations that make cloud gaming feel like local console gaming; growing demand for Gaming as a Service (GaaS) among PC based gamers; high-speed internet penetration and bandwidth expansion; growing investments in 4G/LTE & 5G; steadily growing base of smartphone gamers; and developments in cloud gaming architecture.
The United States represents the largest market worldwide. Asia-Pacific ranks as the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 35.4% over the analysis period led by the development of the Internet and telecom infrastructure; digitalizing lifestyles of the middle class population and a parallel increase in appetite for digital forms of entertainment; growing cloud readiness of Asian economies; rising smartphone penetration and mobile internet subscriptions largely due to falling device costs and service tariffs. The market in the region will in addition benefit from the growing prominence of connected gaming among the new millennials in the 18 to 34 age group. Also, for developing countries, the cloud offers the promise of affordable end-to-end entertainment for consumers and attractive monetization possibilities for market players
Major players in the market include Amazon Web Services, Inc., Cirrascale Corporation, GameFly, Inc., Google, Inc., International Business Machines Corporation, Leap Computing, Inc., LiquidSky Software, Inc., Microsoft Corporation, NVIDIA Corporation, PlayGiga, Playkey, Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC, TransGaming Interactive UK Ltd., Ubitus, Inc., Utomik, Inc., Valve Corporation, and Zynga, Inc., among others.