Newzoo’s Cloud Gaming Trends to Watch in 2022

1. Hardware Supply Issues and 2022’s Packed Release Calendar Will Bolster Cloud Gaming Adoption

From Elden Ring to Starfield, 2022’s release calendar is full of highly anticipated AAA PC and console blockbuster releases. At the same time, semiconductor manufacturers like Intel and Toshiba have stated that the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage will continue well into this year and possibly beyond.

2. Cloud Gaming Use Cases Will Become Clearer to Gamers Following Innovation in Distribution

The past year has seen some of cloud gaming’s most compelling use cases in action. We’ve already discussed how hardware constraints led to gamers using cloud gaming to play Cyberpunk. However, publishers are also leveraging the cloud to bring high-end content to limited hardware.

  1. Game Pass offers access to a huge library of games, but players once had to download these games to try them. Now, even gamers who are not ready to take the plunge into cloud gaming can use the service to try games via the cloud (before downloading them).
  2. Meanwhile, players on Xbox One hardware can play Xbox Series X|S titles via the cloud, giving them access to new-generation gaming on last-generation hardware.

3. Consolidation in Cloud Gaming Is on the Horizon

Echoing the wider games market, the cloud gaming ecosystem has seen several acquisitions and funding deals in the last 12 months. For example:

  • In April, Shadow was acquired by Hubic for approximately $30 million, following Shadow’s financial and scalability difficulties
  • In May, Group acquired Playkey for an undisclosed amount
  • In September, Unity bought Parsec for $320 million
  • In November, Intel acquired RemoteMyApp
  • Also in November, Antstream Arcade received a $3.5 million investment led by the Atari Group
  • In January of this year, Mythical Games bought Polystream.

4. Cloud Gaming Will Spread to More Devices and Ecosystems

Most cloud gaming services were limited to PC and Android in 2019, somewhat undermining the use case of high-quality games on any hardware. Services are now available on more platforms, but there have been challenges.

  • Tencent launched its START service on several smart TVs in 2020 and continues to work with Chinese TV manufacturer TCL to optimize the cloud gaming experience on large screens
  • Last year, select LG TV models began supporting NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW and Google’s Stadia.
  • Already in 2022, Samsung revealed it was bringing GeForce NOW, Stadia, and Utomik to its latest smart TV models.
  • Bluestacks X, a free mobile-focused cloud gaming platform launched in September 2021, has been available on TVs since the beginning.
  • Blacknut and Gamestream have also strived for high accessibility since their start
  • Sunrise, a Swiss CSP, partnered with Gamestream, and has plans to bring its cloud gaming service to Samsung smart TVs in February.

5. Cloud Gaming PaaS services Will Grow (Especially Outside China)

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) companies allow clients to host, manage, and execute software via the cloud. As we have touched on in this article, game companies are already collaborating with PaaS cloud gaming solution providers to:

  • Circumvent app store fees
  • Lower user acquisition costs
  • Grow their reach, discoverability, and — ultimately — their user base.



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