The global subscription-based gaming market size was valued at USD 8.25 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.8% from 2022 to 2030. Factors such as the growth in technological advancements in the gaming industry and the increase in the number of smartphone users are driving the demand for subscription-based gaming. For instance, according to a new zoo report published in 2021, more than 191 million people, or 57.3% of the population played games on their smartphones in the US. The COVID-19 pandemic had a positive impact on the market. Due to the lockdown regulations by the government, the market observed positive growth and a surge in the popularity of online multiplayer games as people spent long hours at their homes. The demand for cloud-based subscription games increased during the pandemic as they can be played on any device and it does not need additional hardware. In order to entertain themselves during the lockdown, people all across the world used cloud-based games and digital entertainment sites. The pandemic resulted in a rise in the number of gamers above the age of 60, for instance, according to the data by G2A, the number of searches by over 60 people increased by 200% after the coronavirus outbreak.
Subscription-based gaming is a service that offers a wide range of games from its catalog to the users on their devices, which provides high-quality gaming graphics and several other features by charging monthly or annual membership subscription fee. The firms provide games on multiple devices such as smartphones, PCs, tablets, consoles, VR headsets, smart TVs, and several other devices. The users can choose either to stream the games directly on the platform or download them.
The market growth especially post-pandemic increased the number of global streamers as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak and the following lockdown. The viewers were streaming on sites such as Twitch, YouTube Gaming, Mixer, and Facebook to watch esports and influencer live streams as a result of the global pandemic. The weekly viewers of gaming live streaming were grown year over year by 70%, according to a report by Stream Hatchet. Moreover, the growth had surged over the past four weeks, increasing by more than 100%, which was the most significant improvement. Furthermore, due to the increase in viewers, more gamers started streaming games on these platforms to increase their subscribers.
The P.C. segment dominated the market with a share of over 55.0% in 2021. This is due to the factor that PC gamers have access to a much wider selection of AAA titles and competitive games as compared to casual gamers on mobiles. On the basis of device type, the market is divided into smartphones, P.C., consoles, and others.
The smartphone segment is projected to exhibit the highest CAGR of 16.8% in the forecast period. For instance, according to the report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in 2021, smartphone gaming led the industry, accounting for more than 90% of the nation's USD 1.6 billion gaming market.
The action genre dominated the market with a revenue share of over 20.0% in 2021. According to estimates from Sensor Tower Store Intelligence, player spending on Action mobile games increased by 68.9% year over year in the United States in 2021 to USD 966.8 million, making it the dominant genre in terms of revenue. In the gaming genre segment, the market is further divided into action, adventure, shooting, fighting, role-playing, sports, racing, and others.
The adventure genre is projected to grow at the highest CAGR of 13.5% over the forecast period. This is owing to the rising inclination of gamers toward adventure games. For instance, according to a report published by Newzoo in March 2020, the adventure genre remained at the top position on PC and consoles with a share of 30%.
The Asia Pacific region dominated the market with a share of over 40.0% in 2021 and is anticipated to expand at the highest CAGR over the forecast period. In 2021, according to a report published by Google for Games, Asia Pacific is the largest gaming region in the world, which accounted for 55% of all gamers worldwide.
North America was the second-dominant region in 2021 and it is expected to maintain its position throughout the forecast period owing to the factors such as access to the fastest internet connection, large numbers of gamers, and the existence of major industry players in the region. The region is expected to expand at a CAGR of 11.1% over the forecast period.
The competitive landscape of the market is fragmented, featuring several global as well as regional players. The key participants are entering into strategic collaborations, partnerships, and mergers & acquisitions to expand their business footprint and survive the highly competitive environment. Moreover, service providers are investing considerably in research & development activities to incorporate new technologies in their offerings and develop advanced solutions to gain a competitive advantage over other market players.
In January 2022, Microsoft acquired U.S. video game firm, Activision Blizzard, in an all-cash deal estimated at USD 68.7 billion for USD 95 per share. Furthermore, Call of Duty, Warcraft, Overwatch, Crash Bandicoot, Guitar Hero, and a number of other titles are now solely owned by Xbox. This initiative by the company will accelerate its plans for cloud gaming, enabling more individuals globally to engage with the Xbox community using their own smartphones, tablets, computers, and other devices. Some prominent players in the global subscription-based gaming market include:
Electronic Arts Inc.
Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.
Market size value in 2022
USD 9.21 billion
Revenue forecast in 2030
USD 24.1 billion
CAGR of 12.8% from 2022 to 2030
Base year for estimation
2017 - 2020
2022 - 2030
Revenue in USD million/billion and CAGR from 2022 to 2030
Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
Device type, gaming genre, region
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, MEA
U.S.; Canada; U.K.; Germany; France; Italy; Spain; Netherlands; China; India; Japan; Australia; Brazil; Mexico; Argentina; Chile; United Arab Emirates (UAE); Saudi Arabia; South Africa
Key companies profiled
Amazon.com Inc.; Apple Inc.; Electronic Arts Inc.; Humble Bundle; Blacknut; NVIDIA Corporation; Microsoft Corporation; Google LLC; Ubisoft Entertainment; Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.
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This report forecasts revenue growth at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2017 to 2030. For this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global subscription-based gaming market report based on device type, gaming genre, and region:
Device Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)
Gaming Genre Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)
Middle East & Africa
United Arab Emirates (UAE)
b. The global subscription-based gaming market size was estimated at USD 8.25 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 9.21 billion in 2022.
b. The global subscription-based gaming market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 12.8% from 2022 to 2030 and reach USD 24.1 billion by 2030.
b. Asia Pacific region dominated the subscription-based gaming market with a share of 40.2% in 2021. This is attributed to the significant growth in the adoption of smartphones and the increasing penetration of internet services.
b. Some key players operating in the subscription-based gaming market are Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Electronic Arts Inc., Humble Bundle, Blacknut, NVIDIA Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, Google LLC, Ubisoft Entertainment, and Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.
b. Key factors driving the market growth include the growth in usage of smartphones, high internet 5G penetration, and rise in the smartphone gaming are driving the demand for the subscription-based gaming market.
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