Survey Q2 2021 Cloud Gaming


And so we start sharing some of the results of the survey we have conducted with many of you in the course of April 2021, with out Linux Gamers Survey for Q2 2021. This time we will focus more specifically on the Cloud Gaming section. In that part, we were interested to see how many of you have already used any of the available Cloud Gaming solutions in the past.

Turns out, most of you have not!

While most of us are non-users, the most popular solutions tried so far were:

  • Nvidia’s GeForce NOW (18%)
  • Google Stadia (11%)

For the amount of buzz these solutions generated and the free trial campaigns that go with them, this is a fairly low number of ever-usage overall.

Next, we wanted to know more about the experience for those who had actually tried any of these solutions. The answer used numerical values, from 1 (=terrible) to 5 (=awesome). Here again, the results are mixed, to say the least:

The hallmark of successful products is when you get typically about 70 to 80% in the 4 and 5 ratings on a 5-point scale. Here we are barely reaching the 30%! Even among folks who have actually used such Cloud Gaming services before, it does not look like they came out very convinced that this is a game-changer. The distribution peaks at the middle-value, which we could call “Meh”, and there’s actually more users who had negative experiences than users with positive ones.

Next, we asked respondents what is their intention in the next year towards trying/using Cloud Gaming services.

For this question, let us separate the respondents into three groups:

  • Non-users (who have never used any Cloud Gaming solution)
  • Past users (who used before, but not using right now)
  • Current users (who are currently using them)

In the Non-users group, here is what the future looks like (N=1372):

  • No plan to try: 79.9%
  • Not sure: 10.9%
  • Plan to try: 9.3%

In the Past users group (N=330):

  • No plan to try again: 78.2%
  • Plan to try again: 21.8%

In the current users group (N=163):

  • Will stop using: 30.1%
  • Not sure: 28.2%
  • Will keep using: 41.7%

Let’s do a quick back of the napkin calculation… will the market actually grow with such numbers?

  • For 1372 non-users, assuming that the ones over the fence would be split half-half in both directions, we would get 14.75% of new users, which is about 202 new users.
  • For 330 past users, 21.8% would start using it again, adding about 72 new users in the next year.
  • For 163 Current users, of which 55.8% will continue using (splitting the unsure in two equal parts), about 91 would still be using it in a year from now.

Let’s sum things up:

  • Currently 163 ongoing users
  • Within a year from now: 202 + 72 + 91 = 365 users

Yup, even with these lackluster features discussed above, the market is likely to be growing, mainly driven the influx of new users who have no past experience in Cloud Gaming. However, the conversion does not seem to be great, so you would expect some serious user churn as they experience your services.

So, we should expect more Linux Gamers to try Cloud Gaming solutions in the near future, while it certainly does not look like it is going to convince a lot of us. Based on these numbers, the business of buying and owning games is probably safe for the time being…