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Games Streaming Tech Major Disruption is Coming

Report by Karol Severin
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The 20,000 Foot View: Streaming is about to take the gaming world by storm. With new entrants including Google, Amazon, and Verizon, and others to come in the future, the traditionally siloed gaming model is becoming part of a wider cross-format, platform-agnostic play in the attention economy. This report examines game streaming’s far-reaching implications such as the disruption of publisher models, platform holders’ weakening platform protection, and tech majors’ efforts to integrate gaming into their entertainment full stack.

Key Findings:

  • The number of on-demand games subscription services will triple in the next two years
  • Cross-platform games streaming services have an addressable audience of over one billion gamers
  • Gaming penetration decreased an average four percentage points across mobile, console and PC between        2017 and        2018 in the large English-speaking markets
  • Watching TV shows on these devices increased an average        points over the same period
  • PC gaming penetration declined from        to        between        2017 and        2018 
  • The tech majors have an increased interest in gaming due to synergies with their cloud businesses and their wider entertainment ecosystems
  • Games streaming will disrupt PC gaming first, but cross-platform, device-agnostic gameplay will ultimately challenge consoles too

Methodological note: This report defines ‘on-demand games subscriptions’ as services with access to on-demand games (streaming or downloadable) as a primary feature. PS PLUS and Xbox Live Gold subscriptions have multiplayer access as a key value proposition and are therefore not included in this report’s analysis.

Companies and products mentioned: Alibaba, Amazon, AT&T, Bethesda, Electronic Arts (EA), EA Access, EA Origin Access, EA Origin Access Premier, iTunes, NVIDIA Geforce Now, Humble Monthly, Google, Microsoft, PlayStation Now, Project Stream, Project Xcloud, Spotify, Sony, Take Two Interactive, Tencent, Ubisoft, Verizon, Xbox Game Pass, Xbox All Access, YouTube

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