New research from Parks Associates finds that 75% of heads of US broadband households report playing video games for at least one hour per week, and 36% subscribe to or are trialing at least one free or paid gaming service. The firm forecasts the potential market opportunity for cloud gaming services in the United States is $3.6 billion in 2024.
Parks’ reports “Quantified Consumer: Next-Generation Gaming: Consoles and Cloud” and “Evolution of Gaming: The State of Cloud Gaming” examine industry developments, consumer interest and demand for cloud gaming services, and business models and implementation strategies among leading services.
“While nearly two-thirds of households are not yet engaged with any gaming services, cloud gaming can become a staple within the subscription entertainment options available to consumers. Netflix’s recent entry into the industry brings more attention and awareness to online subscription gaming and broadens the potential consumer base for these services – particularly since they will provide access to games for free to their subscribers,” said Paul Erickson, Senior Analyst at Parks Associates.
The research also reports 91% of console gamers play games on at least one other platform, with 37% playing on a PC, mobile device, and a connected TV device (either a smart TV or streaming media player) in addition to their console. “Console owners who also play on a mobile device and a PC or who play on every platform category make up half of all console gamers. Simply put, console gamers are multiplatform gamers. Subscription and cloud gaming services require a multiplatform approach so that providers can appeal to both dedicated gamers and the remaining market of casual or convenience gamers,” Erickson added.
Covid-19 has resulted in an unprecedented number of people spending a record amount of time at home, consuming multiple subscriptions worth of streamed entertainment across multiple devices. According to Parks, these increases create greater need for high-speed connections both upstream and downstream. Video games are a key part of the mix of in-home entertainment, and they can require lots of bandwidth. The growing popularity of online gaming will have ripple effects throughout the connected home ecosystem, driving broadband upgrades, improvements in home networking and Wi-Fi management, and more subscription stacking.