The numbers are in and it looks like Microsoft certainly planted its flag in cloud gaming.
As reported by 9to5Google, a new report from the Competition and Markets Authority in the United Kingdom, Microsoft has a dominant share of the cloud gaming market. The UK agency was researching information on the industry as part of the government’s concern about competition if the company’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard was to go through.
According to the findings, Microsoft saw an enormous jump in market share between 2021 and 2022. In the prior year, xCloud, Microsoft’s name for its cloud gaming service across PC, Xbox, and mobile devices, only constituted 20-30% of the market. The dominant player at that time was actually Sony with its PlayStation cloud service. Nvidia’s GeForce NOW service was competing directly with Microsoft at the time. Google Stadia, which was shut down last month, only had less than 10% of the market.
|PlayStation – Cloud||30-40%|
By the end of 2022, however, things looked remarkably different. Microsoft saw its market share in the cloud gaming market jump from 40% to 60%-70%. Sony’s share crumbled in half, Nvidia dropped by at least 30%, and Google Stadia also halved. Amazon Luna, Amazon’s new cloud gaming venture, only grabbed less than 5% of the market.
|PlayStation Cloud Gaming||10-20%|
With this data in mind, there are two things that make more sense today. One is that Google probably made the right decision in shutting down Stadia. People who used the service, despite it not gaining much in popularity, loved it. It was a really cool idea. However, like many of the things that Google tries, this one just didn’t pan out.
The other thing that makes a lot more sense is why so many governments are suing to block the Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard. If they’re looking at this, it seems quite clear that Microsoft is the dominant player in at least one part of the gaming industry. While cloud gaming is still a relatively small part of the total industry, it is a growing one.
This latest report is sure to only bolden those who want to block the deal.