Cloud game market may exceed 43 billion yuan in 2023, there are still many problems to be solved
Our reporter/Chen Yibo/Wu Kezhong/Report from Beijing
Recently, the 5G Cloud Game Industry Alliance released two white papers on the development of the cloud game industry. Among them, the “White Paper on Cloud Game Industry Development (2020)” (hereinafter referred to as the “White Paper”) shows that the scale of China’s cloud game market in 2020 will be approximately It is 3.26 billion yuan, which may exceed 43 billion yuan by 2023.
However, the “2021 China Game Industry Potential Analysis Report” previously released by a third-party data research organization, Gamma Data, gave statistics on the actual scale of China’s cloud game market in 2020 at 910 million yuan.
A reporter from “China Business News” was informed that the report also mentioned that the development of cloud games will bring a series of changes. At the same time, the current cloud game market still has problems such as ununified business models, high costs, and game infringement.
The market may exceed 43 billion yuan in 2023
According to the “White Paper”, the cloud gaming market will be about 3.26 billion yuan in 2020, and about 163 million cloud gaming users will be expected to reach 43.55 billion yuan in 2023, and cloud gaming users are expected to reach 670 million in 2023. In three years, the growth rate of the market scale may exceed 10 times.
According to the “2021 China Game Industry Potential Analysis Report” released by Gamma Data, in 2020, the actual size of the cloud game market will be 910 million yuan. Affected by the global epidemic, the speed of 5G construction has been delayed, and the layout of related companies in this field has also been affected to a certain extent; subject to the current unclear commercialization model of cloud games, game products and platforms launched by major domestic game companies are still trying At this stage, there was no large-scale customer acquisition behavior, and the lack of entry of new users made the market growth limited. Therefore, the report believes that although there has been a certain increase in the market size of China’s cloud gaming market of 540 million yuan in 2019, the revenue growth rate is still lower than market expectations.
Regarding the difference between the two reports, gamma data responded to reporters that the gamma data statistics are obtained by adding up the detailed revenues that actually occurred in the cloud game market that year, excluding some that are just playing cloud The situation of the related enterprises of the game concept is not too optimistic about the cloud game market.
Gamma data sources said that if some companies just take cloud games as a gimmick and are not actually engaged in this area of business, gamma data will not be included in the scope of statistics after screening.
According to the “White Paper”, the development of China’s cloud gaming market can be roughly divided into a budding period (2013 to 2018), an initial period (2019 to 2024) and a rapid development period (2025 to 2030). In 2019, the total amount of corporate financing that entered the cloud game reached 1.348 billion yuan, and the investment rate reached 54.6%. IT orange investment and financing data show that the cloud computing industry initiated a total of 206 investment and financing in the first three quarters of 2020, an increase from 170 in 2019. At present, there are 49 major game manufacturers and platforms involved in cloud gaming in China, with listed companies accounting for 57% and startup companies accounting for 43%. Among them, To C accounted for 60%, To B accounted for 22%, To B + To C accounted for 18%. Start-up companies mostly face B-end customers, and listed companies mostly face C-end customers.
The 5G Cloud Game Industry Alliance estimates that the overall monthly active users of cloud games are about 50 million based on data published by current platforms including NetEase Cloud Games, Migu Kuaiyou, and Tianyi Cloud Games. The proportion of resident users in user retention is less than half. Therefore, based on the scale of 650 million mobile game users in China, the penetration rate of cloud game users is less than 15%. This may be mainly due to the gap between the cloud game operating experience and the ideal state and the subscription system payment The model has not yet been fully accepted.
The aforementioned “White Paper” also mentioned that at present, the user portraits of the first-generation cloud game players have been initially clear. Compared with the overall game users, cloud game users have the following characteristics: First, the players are younger, 25 The proportion of game users under the age of nearly 80%; the second is that the proportion of male users is nearly 80%, which is much higher than the proportion of male game users; the third is that there are more moderate to heavy game players, especially shooting and role-playing; the fourth is The payment rate is low. 46.6% of the users surveyed have a cumulative payment amount of less than 50 yuan; fifth is that they are more inclined to the game’s fee-based model and the monthly payment is less than 200 yuan; sixth, the frequency and duration of user play are still relatively high Low level, which is related to the lack of game content, high cost, and poor experience.
“Content is king” will rise?
According to the “Cloud Game Key Technology White Paper 2020” released by the 5G Cloud Game Industry Alliance, cloud gaming is a cloud computing-based gaming method, essentially an interactive online video stream.
Unlike previous games, cloud games run on a cloud server. After the game scene is rendered into a video stream and a picture stream, it is transmitted to the player’s game terminal through the network, and the player’s input instructions are obtained to form an interaction.
In the cloud gaming scenario, players do not need gaming terminals with powerful graphics computing and data processing capabilities, and their devices only need to have basic streaming media playback functions and the function of sending instructions to the cloud server. Cloud gaming allows players to save downloads, installations, upgrades and other operations, and can experience games on multiple platforms anytime, anywhere.
It is precisely because of this feature that the “White Paper” pointed out that with the development of cloud games, the future game on channels and content will intensify the mainstream competition in the future market, and the current “channel first” situation may decline. “Content “Being the King” will gradually rise.
From the perspective of channels, cloud games get rid of the shackles of terminal hardware, and the entrances are gradually diversified. With the change of game promotion models by innovative gameplay such as trial advertising, the user retention rate of app stores, APP Stores and other distribution channel providers Will be further reduced, which will lead to a decline in the commercial value of traditional channels, weakened bargaining power, and gradually weaken the role of the industry. At the same time, in terms of content supply, more and more users will be more inclined to pay for high-quality games. Game developers, especially those with strong R&D capabilities, will tend to rise in the industry chain.
As for the split between game developers and channel parties, which has been widely concerned by the market recently, what impact will it have with the further development of cloud games in the future? In this regard, some people in the industry mentioned to this reporter that, in fact, not many current cloud game platforms participate in excessive sharing. Regarding the issue of sharing, you may refer to the model of the web game industry, which came out that year. You don’t need to download the game when it’s time, and it also has its own set of business models.
“A very important issue that may need to be considered here is payment, but it still takes time to solve. Only by reducing the cost to a sufficiently low level, then everyone can see that the overall business model has money to make, technology, The problems in these aspects of account payment have been solved, and the entire market has a certain scale. Maybe we can talk about the issue of sharing. Therefore, it may be a bit early to talk about this issue.” The above-mentioned industry sources added.
In addition, the “White Paper” also mentioned that in the future, large terminal screens will also become an important carrier for cloud games. “Large screen + Ultra HD” will bring higher visual presentation; “Large screen + controller” is recognized as the best game manipulation method in the industry; large screen cloud games based on edge node computing power distribution further reduces network latency , Provides high-quality guarantee for cloud game data transmission. In the future, cloud native games will become the ultimate development form of cloud games.
The business model still needs to be improved
The “White Paper” also mentioned that there are still many challenges in the entire cloud gaming market. Although many companies have deployed cloud games, the market as a whole is in a melee mode. From the underlying service providers, game developers, publishers, cloud game platform providers to terminal hardware equipment, etc., the cooperation between the parties is different, resulting in resources It cannot be effectively integrated; the subscription and payment system of cloud games has not yet formed a unified industry standard. Therefore, the business model of the industry still needs to be further explored and improved.
In addition to the business model, the high traffic tariffs and capital costs of cloud games restrict the entry of most small and medium-sized domestic manufacturers.
Due to technical limitations, compared with local games, cloud games currently have problems such as high latency and unstable picture quality, all of which have an impact on user experience.
In addition to the above-mentioned problems, the report also mentioned infringement issues. At present, in the Chinese cloud game market, the use and authorization process of game copyright is not yet standardized. The huge market potential of cloud games poses new challenges to the existing legal and intellectual property protection systems.
In addition, the “Cloud Game Key Technology White Paper 2020” also mentioned that with the development of the cloud game industry, some game developers blindly pursue short-term benefits, adopt “short, flat, and fast” development strategies, and are keen on “imitation” and ” Plagiarism”, the phenomenon of homogeneity of game products is serious, and problems such as insufficient game richness and innovation are gradually appearing.
At present, the existing cloud game products are still mainly in the form of “cloud games”, and in the future, cloud native games will be the development direction of high-quality game content. This kind of cloud game product based on cloud platform characteristics planning, development and operation, which can give full play to the advantages of cloud platform, will create a new era of cloud games in the future, bring game developers an update of development concepts; change the distribution mode of traditional channels; More new modes and scenarios will be created, and a new user experience will be opened; more innovative gameplay will be introduced to broaden the ideas of game development and attract more manufacturers and players to explore the possibility of combining multiple hardware operations.
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