Cloud/PC Gaming as It Currently Stands
When specifically looking at digital gaming for PCs, 2020 has been a standout year. In 2019, the global digital PC gaming market was evaluated to be around $4.9 billion, which was already a significant growth from the years before. However, in 2020, that value has grown to about $10.5 billion, over double what it was in 2019. Much of this growth can obviously be attributed to the ongoing pandemic, which has kept more people at home and limited other entertainment options, but this is not the entire picture.
With Tencent’s 80% acquisition of Grinding Gears Games along with the launch of Google’s cloud-based gaming platform, Stadia, in November of 2019, the options and convenience for PC-based cloud gaming have never been higher. In fact, convenience and cost-effectiveness remain major selling points for digital gaming. Without constantly updating and updating the games or hardware, it makes a far cheaper option than having to buy a new console with physical games every few years. The future outlook for both digital PC gaming as well as digital gaming as a whole continues to look positive in the coming years.
The Future of Digital Gaming
When looking to the future, digital gaming as a whole looks like it will continue to boom, while the PC section of digital gaming is set to even out. Due to the likely end of the COVID-19 pandemic and the expiration of stay-at-home orders that will see more consumers spending money in other places, the digital PC gaming market is set to decrease slightly from 2020 to around $9.3 billion in 2023. Despite this small drop, digital gaming as a whole will not falter during that time.
In fact, the global digital gaming market is set for a major climb in overall market value to a whopping $264.9 billion by 2023. When breaking this down by device, mobile digital gaming is set for the largest increase, with the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) reaching 23.1%. This can be attributed to the wider accessibility of internet connectivity around the world as well as the relative affordability of a gaming-capable smartphone in recent years. In contrast to this, despite its current popularity, PC gaming’s market share is set to decline down to 11%.
Region by region, growth is spread out, giving clarity to how widespread digital gaming has become in the modern era. The North American and Asia-Pacific regions, in particular, will be the major factors in the market’s continued growth. North America will see a CAGR of 14.6% starting through 2023, due mostly to the widespread availability of high-speed internet. The Asia-Pacific region, already the largest hold of market share in digital gaming, is to see an even larger CAGR at an impressive 17.5%. The growth in this region will be responsible for $137.8 billion of the total market value in 2023. When looking toward Latin America, by 2023, the region is set to be contributing $6.9 billion toward the total market value of digital gaming. Europe will also see increases by 2023, with the region possibly occupying 22% of the entire market. This could be attributed to the rapidly rising and extremely competitive virtual reality gaming scene in the European market right now.
While PC-specific digital gaming has seen a banner year in 2020, it will not be responsible for paving the future of all digital/cloud-based gaming. Mobile gaming looks to be the biggest mover without questions as the entire digital gaming market is expected to grow rapidly between now and 2023.
The mobile gaming section remains optimistic for the future prospects of its market share. This is due to the convenience of being able to have games update automatically and the lack of necessity for purchasing a new console or device to maintain high-quality gameplay. The industry as a whole should reap the rewards of the projected growth moving forward despite the slightly lower value of the PC-specific digital gaming market in the coming years.
About the Author
Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.