Is Cloud Gaming the Future?

Gamesoft
3 min readDec 29, 2023

Cloud Gaming has been hovering around as a hot topic for years now, but will it actually take off? Industry analysts predicted that the sector would gross $3.2 billion in 2023, though that’s only 2% of the entire industry’s revenue. Recent statistics have shown that 33% of committed gamers and 10% of casual gamers have already used a cloud gaming service.

Industry Support

Evidently, we’re still in the early days of streaming games from the cloud. We can only speculate whether it will ever completely replace discs and hard drives, but major players in the industry seem optimistic about its potential. Earlier this year, Microsoft’s attempts to acquire Activision Blizzard were vetoed by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over concerns that Microsoft would gain a monopoly in the emerging cloud gaming market.

Ubisoft then picked up the cloud gaming rights for Activision Blizzard titles. In an interview with the Financial Times, CEO Yves Guillemot put forth his hopes for the future of cloud streaming. “We strongly believe in the next five to 10 years, many games will be streamed and will also be produced in the cloud,” he said. He went on to say that Netflix was initially criticized when it turned to streaming, suggesting a similar major shift for the games industry.

Pundits predict the games industry will undergo a period of rapid expansion following the release of the iPhone 15. Major players may be quick to put mobile at the centre of their plans, meaning Ubisoft holding these rights could prove big for them. Yves went on to suggest that developing countries are likely to build cloud infrastructure in the coming years as a means of catching up.

Adoption Rate

In other news, a massive leak has told us a lot about Microsoft’s plans. This recent disastrous accident also includes details about next-gen consoles and Bethesda’s future games. As for cloud gaming, the information (which has since been taken down) features some fascinating insights into Microsoft’s Project xCloud. It seems to suggest that while Microsoft is currently keeping support to a minimum, their next console seems to heavily rely on the cloud. This suggests that they see an optimistic future for the cloud, but that we’re simply not ready yet.

Furthermore, December will see its promised Xbox Cloud support come to Meta Quest. Cloud gaming is currently available to Game Pass Ultimate subscribers. The issues with cloud gaming lie, of course, in infrastructure. A complete reliance on consistent connections may inhibit countries and regions that suffer from spotty connections and weak signals. Though this will undoubtedly improve as the future turns increasingly digital, universal adoption may take a while.

Whether or not cloud gaming is the future, it seems the topic is here to stay. Gaming’s future seems to include the cloud. Who knows how long it’ll be before we’re all using a Netflix-style streaming service?

What are your thoughts on Cloud Gaming? Are we looking at a disc-less future? Is it just a pipe dream? Let us know in the comments!

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