The Cloud Gaming Market 2021

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

With the new year ahead of us, we are at a point where we traditionally look at the year to come and try to plot a pathway through it. Obviously, as 2020 showed, getting that prediction right is extremely difficult. Nevertheless, if we turn our heads towards the cloud gaming market, 2021 has some clear themes that we expect to come further to light over the next 12 months.

This article will look at the direction the cloud gaming market is expected to go in 2021. First by explaining in more detail what cloud gaming is and how it developed over 2020. So if you’re looking to get ahead of the curve and look forward to some of the big expected announcements of this year, begin your research with this article below.

What is cloud gaming?

For those that aren’t aware, cloud gaming is the latest way for people to access their video games. Previously, before cloud gaming, a player was required to have an expensive console or PC gaming rig. This was needed to process all the gaming data and store saved games. 

However, with cloud gaming, this hardware is no longer needed. Instead, the processing of the game is done remotely by a server, all the actions and data are streamed between a player and the server via the internet. 

There are a lot of benefits to this model of gaming. The first is the initial outlay to get playing, a person no longer has to pay for a console or gaming computer and instead pays a smaller monthly subscription. Secondly is that they can play anytime and anywhere with an internet connection. These reasons, amongst others have made cloud gaming very popular, with most within the industry saying it will be the next evolution for the gaming sector.

How did the cloud gaming market change over 2020?

As we are all aware, there were some big developments in 2020. The coronavirus pandemic changed a lot of people’s lives and made them spend more time inside. As a result, the gaming industry and cloud gaming have seen a big uptake in players and usage. As an example, the 2019 market value for cloud gaming was 0.17 billion USD. In 2020, this had more than doubled to 0.47 billion USD.

Below are some of the biggest influences in the industry in 2020:

● Alphabet Inc.

● Apple Inc.

● International Business Machines Corp.

● LiquidSky Software Inc.

● Microsoft Corp.

● NVIDIA Corp.

● PLAYGIGA SL

● Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.

● Sony Corp.

● Ubitus Inc.

How the cloud gaming market will develop in 2021

Currently, all indicators point towards a big year of growth in 2021, with a forecasted YoY growth of 29% up until 2024. Currently, despite its sophistication, the market is still at its early stages. There is much potential for growth as uptake improves and investment continues.

There are lots of drivers within this growth. Current market leaders are continuing to improve their service and offering, but also there are new entrants to the sector that will create big waves. Namely, at the end of 2020, Facebook announced that it was moving into the cloud gaming market.

Interestingly, the Facebook model will be free-to-play and focus on keeping users within their ecosystem, as opposed to other payment models already in operation. Cloud gaming lends itself extremely well to the mobile gaming sector, allowing players access to quality games through their smartphones. Social media games will also drive this growth.

Alongside mobile gaming, companies such as Microsoft and Xbox’s cloud offering will be expanding their technology to new markets and devices, including iOS and PC. Nintendo are following suit and will be bringing their cloud service to the world outside of Japan. Google Stadia also has big plans to expand their library, with more than 400 games on their books to be released.


The cloud gaming market has seen rapid improvements in recent months, this is not looking to slow down any time soon. In fact, as investment continues to go into technology and infrastructure, growth is predicted to move further upwards as cloud gaming moves more and more into a position of default gaming infrastructure for players around the world.