Over the past few years, the worldwide game subscription market has experienced an impressive surge. According to Omdia’s latest research, this upward trend is expected to persist in the coming years.
By 2027, game subscription revenue is forecasted to exceed $22 billion, making up 11.6% of the total global spending on games. This projection is a considerable leap from its current valuation of approximately $16 billion.
Why it matters: Subscription services like PS Plus and Xbox Game Pass are already popular among players. Every service offers something unique, suiting a broad range of gaming preferences.
After a remarkable surge in 2020 and 2021, game subscriptions saw a brief leveling off in 2022, following the overall market trend. Yet, a strong comeback is expected in 2023, with an estimated growth of 10.9%, resulting in an impressive $16 billion in revenue.
The report divides the market into eight clear sub-categories, including in-game subscriptions, cloud gaming libraries, and ‘platform access’ subscriptions. This detailed breakdown provides valuable insights into the various sources of revenue in this growing industry.
The report shows that between Xbox and PlayStation, 51 million subscribers are currently using ‘games library services.’
Projections for 2027 suggest cloud gaming providers could generate an impressive $6.4 billion, with in-game subscriptions making up a significant 30% of the total revenue.
Another analyst highlighted how subscriptions have become a crucial strategy for major gaming companies. He pointed out the focus on enhanced features, unique content, and accessibility across different platforms.
While subscriptions offer an economical and user-friendly experience, there are ongoing concerns about whether big-budget game development can be sustained in this model.
The report highlights the view that subscriptions, while growing, will work alongside various other ways of making money rather than replacing them entirely.
With the rising popularity of gaming subscription services, it’s unsurprising that Sony chose to raise the prices for all PS Plus plans. Phil Spencer from Xbox also believes it’s a matter of time before they increase Xbox Game Pass prices.
Nonetheless, it is safe to say that gaming subscription services will likely see further growth in the coming years. Following Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision, all Call of Duty titles are expected to arrive on the Xbox subscription by 2025.
Such measures will drive growth for Xbox Game Pass and possibly encourage PlayStation to improve its own offerings.
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