Some 70 per cent of gamers surveyed in UK, France, Germany and Spain say they’re not interested in a video game streaming service according to a survey conducted by Ipsos MORI’s GameTrack survey, on behalf of GamesIndustry.biz.
Just 15 per cent of the surveyed gamers (defined as anyone playing games via any device) are interested in a Netflix-style streaming service for games in the four territories included in the study. The remainder either ‘don’t now’ (12 per cent) or already utilise a service akin to Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud (such as the current market leader, PlayStation Now).
A small 3 per cent of gamers claimed to be ‘very interested’ in such a streaming service.
The country that is most intrigued in gaming streaming platforms is the UK with 23 per cent of players claiming to be interested (although just 5 per cent are ‘very interested’), followed by France and Spain (14 per cent).
German players are the least interested, with just 10 per cent of gamers keeping an eye on the services and 75 per cent who are not interested.
European gamers are not too concerned by the challenges of internet connection. GameTrack asked gamers across the four markets to agree or disagree with a series of statements, and 43 per cent believe their ‘internet connection is fast enough to stream games’ (23 per cent disagreed, with the remainder unsure). The UK is the market most bullish about its internet capabilities, with 54 per cent agreeing that their internet connection is strong enough to stream games (the least confident market is France, where 37 per cent agreed with the statement).
However, 32 per cent of gamers across the territories said they ‘would worry about my internet connection dropping, which would prevent me from streaming games’, whereas 28 per cent were not concerned by this. Interestingly, the UK (the market most confident that it can stream games) is also the territory most concerned about internet dropping out (45 per cent).
Potentially one of the reasons why streaming might struggle in Europe is because of the continued popularity of packaged games. 31 per cent of surveyed gamers agreed with the statement ‘I prefer to buy packaged games than stream’ (versus 24 per cent who don’t). Cost is also a concern, with just 22 per cent agreeing that a subscription-based service (which is what many of the streaming services are proposing) would offer good value for money.
But there were some promising results that could boost consumer interest. 27 per cent of surveyed gamers agreed with the statement ‘I would be more interested in a streaming service if I could download content to my hard drive’, (26 per cent disagreed with that statement). And 41 per cent agreed with the statement: “not having to wait for updates before playing is an advantage of streaming games” acknowledging the potential benefits of a streaming services (13 per cent disagreed).
Of course, it is important to note that one of the main objectives of streaming services is to widen the access of console and PC games to new audiences who currently do not own a dedicated gaming device (particularly in emerging markets). However, GameTrack’s survey results do indicate how popular non-game streaming/subscription offerings are in France, Germany, UK and Spain, both amongst gamers and non-gamers.
Half of those surveyed in the four markets claim to live in a household with at least one subscription service, with 21 per cent subscribing to two or more and 7 per cent subscribing to three or more services. Netflix is the most popular based on claimed household subscriptions (30 per cent), followed shortly by Amazon Prime (27 per cent) and then Spotify (12 per cent).
Despite scepticism around gaming subscription services, gamers are prolific non-game streamers/subscribers across the four European markets. 59 per cent of gamers claim to live in a household that subscribes to any streaming platform (again, Netflix comes out top), 27 per cent subscribe to two or more, and 10 per cent subscribe to three or more.
According to claimed household subscriptions, the UK is the biggest market for streaming non-game content, followed by Spain, Germany and then France