As predicted by Omdia, 2021 was a landmark year for cloud gaming. It was largely driven by the first full year of availability of cloud gaming on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which Omdia estimates had 16.4 million subscribers at the end of 2021. Sony’s long-running cloud gaming service PlayStation Now also saw impressive consumer uptake in 2021, with an estimated 4.4 million subscribers.
The revenue generated from cloud gaming is set to surpass $5bn in 2022, at a year-on-year growth rate of 39%. At the end of 2021, Microsoft and Sony were responsible for almost three-quarters of total cloud gaming market revenue, but their share is expected to decrease in the coming years as other services take off globally.
By 2026, consumer spend on cloud gaming will reach $11.9bn. Cloud gaming will mostly complement, rather than cannibalize, the growth of the videos games sector, including the console market.