The first cloud gaming technology was showcased at E3 2000, a trade event for the video game industry, by Finnish start-up G-Cluster. Interest in the market picked up in 2018 as Electronic Arts, Microsoft, and Google announced cloud gaming development projects.


Listed below are the major milestones in the journey of the cloud gaming theme, as identified by GlobalData.

2000 – G-Cluster, a Finnish cloud gaming start-up, showcased the first cloud gaming technology at E3.

2005 – Crytek started exploring cloud gaming for Crysis, a first-person shooter video game.

2007 – Crytek’s cloud gaming initiatives stumbled due to internet connectivity and scalability concerns.

2010 – OnLive launched the world’s first commercial cloud gaming service.

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By GlobalData

2011 – Gaikai launched a cloud gaming service featuring games like Dead Space 2, The Sims 3, Spore, and Mass Effect 2.

2012 – Sony acquired Gaikai for $380m.

2013 – NVIDIA launched cloud gaming service GRID (now GeForce Now) on its Shield Android TVs.

2014 – Sony announced the PlayStation Now cloud gaming service, based on technology acquired from Gaikai.

2015 – Sony’s PlayStation Now opened for public access and the company acquired OnLive.

2017 – Nvidia began testing the GRID service on PCs and allowed users to link their existing Steam libraries for content.

2017 – Blade introduced a remote virtual PC service, Shadow, to offer cloud-based game streaming.

2018 – Electronic Arts acquired GameFly’s cloud gaming division to kick start its cloud gaming initiative, Project Atlas.

2018 – Google and Microsoft announced their cloud gaming initiatives, Project Stream and Project xCloud, respectively.

2019 – Google launched Stadia (earlier Project Stream).

2019 – Sony and Microsoft partnered to jointly focus on the development of cloud gaming.

2019 – Tencent and NetEase began testing cloud gaming services, Start and NetEase Cloud Games, respectively, in China.

2019 – Facebook acquired PlayGiga, a Spanish cloud gaming start-up, for $78m.

2020 – Sony announced that its PS Now service had surpassed 2.2 million subscribers since launch.

2020 – Microsoft launched Xbox Cloud Gaming (earlier Project xCloud), integrated with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

2020 – Apple introduced rules to prevent cloud gaming services from marketing via the iOS App Store.

2020 – Amazon announced Luna, a cloud gaming service similar to Google Stadia, and began offering access by invitation.

2020 – Facebook launched a cloud gaming service integrated with its social media platform.

2020 – Deutsche Telekom launched MagentaGaming, a cloud gaming service powered by start-up firm RemoteMyApp.

2021 – Verizon will launch its cloud gaming service in the US.

2021 – Cloud gaming services will reach iOS users via web-browsers, circumventing the App Store.

2021 – Amazon’s Luna will go live to the public.

2023 – The widespread availability of 5G networks will aid the growth of the cloud gaming market.

2030 – The global cloud gaming market will worth $30bn, according to GlobalData estimates.

This is an edited extract from the Cloud Gaming – Thematic Research report produced by GlobalData Thematic Research.