Cloud-based gaming is starting to heat up. In a new report from market research firm IHS Markit, cloud gaming earned $387 million in 2018, and the company predicts that number will balloon to $2.5 billion by 2023.
The massive number helps put into perspective why the industry has seen a sudden surge in cloud gaming products. Most notably, Google announced its Stadia streaming platform earlier this year, which it will reveal more information about in the summer. And Sony and Microsoft recently entered a surprising partnership where the two companies will work together on cloud-based gaming and entertainment services.
Outside of that, Microsoft is also working on Project xCloud, an upcoming program that’ll allow you to stream Xbox games to smartphones, tablets, and PCs.
IHS Markit’s analysis is based on the performance of 16 cloud gaming services from around the world. It said that Sony’s PlayStation Now, which originally launched in 2014, is leading the way — it’s responsible for 36% of the total $387 million earned last year.
Nintendo, strangely enough, came in at second place. In Japan, the gaming giant works with Taiwanese company Ubitus to stream triple-A games like Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and Resident Evil 7 to Nintendo Switch for a small fee.
Overall, Japan was the biggest market for cloud gaming in 2018, coming in at $178 million in spending. The U.S. was in second (mostly because of PS Now) and France was third.