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Game Subscription Revenue Will Surpass $22 Billion By 2027

New research from Omdia shows PlayStation and Xbox lead with 51 million combined subscribers 

Omdia Game Subscriptions and Cloud Gaming Market Forecast 2023

New research from Omdia, a technology research and advisory group shows that the global game subscriptions market is poised to reach record heights in 2027 with a revenue that’s expected to exceed $22 billion or 11.6% of the overall global spend on games. 

After growing rapidly in 2020 and 2021, gaming subscriptions levelled off in 2022, following the broader market trend. However, a rebound is expected this year, with projected growth of 10.9% to reach $16 billion.

Three main categories 

Omdia’s Game Subscriptions and Cloud Gaming Market Forecast provides a comprehensive overview of all types of game subscriptions and offers detailed sizing and projections for 43 markets worldwide. The research firm analysed three main categories of subscriptions: 

  1. Games library services, which offer Netflix-style access to a selection of games, have a 44% share of the market ($7.3 billion in revenue in 2023).
  2. Then in-game subscriptions, which allow players to access additional content or features within individual games, have a 30% share of the market ($4.8 billion in revenue in 2023).
  3. Lastly, platform access subscriptions, which primarily give players access to online features rather than a large library of games, have a 26% share of the market ($4.3 billion in revenue in 2023).

George Jijiashvili, senior principal analyst at Omdia says, “Subscriptions have evolved into a cornerstone strategy for leading game companies, which increasingly emphasize expanded capabilities, exclusive content, and cross-platform accessibility. However, subscriptions’ role as the primary business model remains unproven.

“While offering a cost-effective and user-friendly experience, sustaining blockbuster game development within this model raises difficult financial questions,” added Jijiashvili. “This further underscores our belief that, while subscriptions will continue to grow, they will not become the dominant business model for games but rather complement a diverse range of monetization approaches.”

PlayStation and Xbox lead

According to Omdia’s research, Microsoft and Sony lead the way in games library services, with a combined 51 million subscribers. Cloud gaming services are expected to generate $3.6 billion in revenue in 2023 and grow to $6.4 billion by 2027.

This growth will be primarily driven by cloud-enabled games library services like Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and PlayStation Plus Premium, rather than cloud-only services like Amazon Luna+, which are expected to account for just 5% of the total subscription revenue by 2027.

The total number of paid subscriptions is expected to reach 175 million by the end of 2023, growing to 217 million by 2027, excluding subscriptions within individual games.

Written By

Isa Muhammad is a writer and video game journalist covering many aspects of entertainment media including the film industry. He's steadily writing his way to the sharp end of journalism and enjoys staying informed. If he's not reading, playing video games or catching up on his favourite TV series, then he's probably writing about them.

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