There was a massive surge in engagement and spending across the gaming industry in 2020. Cloud gaming is among the verticals expected to experience continuous exponential growth in 2021.
According to the research data analyzed and published by Safe Betting Sites Canada, the yearly revenue from the global cloud gaming market will for the first time exceed $1 billion in 2021. This is close to double its estimated revenue for 2020, which was around $585 million. North America and Europe were the top markets in 2020, generating 39% and 29% of that revenue, respectively.
The cloud gaming market, which was worth $170 million in 2019, is projected to grow to $4.8 billion by 2023 according to Newzoo. Research firm Omdia is a lot more optimistic, estimating that the market’s revenue will grow by 188% to $4 billion in 2021. By 2025, Omdia forecasts that the market will have tripled its value to $12 billion.
A Fortune Business Insights report projects that the market’s Total Addressable Market (TAM) size will reach $56.57 billion by 2027. It stood at $12.58 billion in 2018.
Last year, big players like Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Facebook ventured into the industry. Their new cloud-streaming technology shifts game processing to cloud-based servers. Players can, therefore, use low-powered systems to access graphics-intensive content without any latency.
Mobile Gaming Revenue to Rise by 20% to $120 Billion in 2021
The year 2020 also saw a surge in demand for mobile apps, with gaming as the predominant driving force. According to a report by AppAnnie, revenue from mobile gaming is set to soar by 20% to $120 billion in 2021. For perspective, the global mobile gaming space generated only $68.5 billion in 2019.
In 2020, China was the most significant market, generating $21.25 billion. The US came in a distant second, with revenue totaling approximately $10.73 billion.
Moreover, games represented 40% of the total mobile app downloads on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. There was a 35% increase in time spent playing mobile games during the year, rising from 208 billion to 284 billion hours.
The extent of growth in the industry is also evident from the number of mobile game players. According to an NPD report covering the key US and Canada markets, the number of active mobile gamers rose by 12% in 2020. There were 238.7 million active gamers, up from 214 million in 2019. Comparatively, the increase from 2017 to 2018 was 5% and from 2018 to 2019, only 2%.
On a global scale, the number of mobile gamers was 2.3 billion in 2018, rising to 2.4 billion in 2019. By 2020, the number had shot up to about 2.51 billion in 2020, translating to about 30.7% of the global population.
It is also worth noting that the mobile gaming share of the overall gaming revenue has been on a consistent rise for nearly a decade. While it only accounted for 18% of the total revenue in 2012, its share had risen to 51% by 2018 according to Statista.
In 2020, it was estimated to account for 57% of the industry total, set to rise to 59% in 2021.
Global Gaming Industry to Generate $189.3 Billion in 2021
Based on Newzoo data, there will be a total of 2.8 billion gamers worldwide in 2021. These gamers will enable the industry to generate $189.3 billion by the end of the year. Emerging markets are set to drive most of the growth thanks to infrastructural and economic growth in Northern Africa, Middle East and Southeast Asia.
In 2020, the global gaming market posted a 19.6% growth year-over-year (YoY) to reach $174.9 billion. Newzoo projects that by 2023, it could grow to $217.9 billion.
Among the factors expected to contribute to overall growth is increased penetration for the 5G network. Though Newzoo points out that 2021 will not be the year for 5G, by the end of it, 16% of active smartphones will be 5G-ready, equivalent to 700 million. By 2023, the 5G market share is projected to shoot up to 43%, representing 2.1 billion 5G-ready devices.