According to recent data, 10% of casual gamers and 33% of serious players across seven worldwide regions have previously used a cloud gaming service. The present usage of cloud gaming services is highest in Spain (35%) and the USA (32%), and lowest in France (16%). 82% of those who have tried cloud gaming are likely to use it again.

Although only 26% of ‘passionate’ gamers and nearly 44% of ‘non-passionate’ gamers had heard of cloud gaming before doing the study, the idea is intriguing. Spanish players are the most willing to give it a try (44%), followed by Americans (36%) and Britons (30%).

The study, which was carried out in June 2023 by market research company Savanta, includes a sample of over 12,000 gamers from seven regions (Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, UK, and USA) who play electronic games on any platform.

According to Shaun Austin, senior vice president of media at Savanta, “committed gamers” are a sizable and valuable market group that Microsoft is aiming to capture with its rumoured $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Discounting the collective opportunity in casual gamers, though, would be a mistake.

Over half (52%) of our sample’s gamers choose freemium games, and 70% of them play mostly on smartphones. Both Netflix and Google have recognised the potential in this market with their respective Playables initiatives. Recently, the latter company stated that it was expanding its offer to include fully-fledged cloud gaming services that users could access on linked TVs and computers in addition to downloaded mobile games.

In November 2021, Netflix soft-launched gaming downloads on its mobile app. The majority (77%) of the Savanta sample’s fifth (22%) respondents said they were likely to download another game in the future. Almost half (45%) of people who had never heard of Netflix games would make use of the existing offering.

One in five people said that purchasing games is the first luxury they would give up in a time of financial hardship, ahead of magazine and gaming subscriptions (15% each) and TV/film streaming subscriptions (12%).

According to Austin’s conclusion, it will always be difficult to appeal to the dedicated gaming community, which is obsessed with technical concerns like frame rates and data use limits. As a result of their lessons gained, Google and Netflix are approaching the casual market with a fundamentally different method than Facebook.

Netflix presents games as a value addition rather than a final destination. Games offer engaging content for a platform that will undoubtedly be severely impacted by the Writers’ Strike and the rising cost of living. Additionally, brand advertisers may be able to take advantage of several brand extension options, including product placement, thanks to Netflix’s IP in the gaming industry. Customers have nothing to lose and everything to gain by using this service. If 45% of Netflix’s 238 million global subscribers try gaming, the streaming service may become a significant player in the cloud gaming market.