The State of Online Gaming in 2017

State of Gaming

Earlier this year, we took a look at the state of America's internet connectivity and speeds, premium television, and TV Everywhere to measure progress in our communications and entertainment marketplaces.  This week, in the latest status check of our series, we examine the state of online gaming and its steady surge in popularity in U.S. households.

Faster internet speeds and improved latency are definitely contributing to a better overall home gaming experience. A look at some recent web traffic statistics demonstrate not only that more people are taking up gaming as part of their online activities, but that gaming is no longer considered the solitary activity it used to be. And with eSports, or better defined as professional competitive video gaming, now becoming a popular TV viewing activity among mainstream audiences, the gaming community is bound to grow and expand even more to those who don't traditionally consider themselves gamers.

Forecasts indicate that gaming traffic will increase 8-fold in the U.S. between the years 2015-2020. Predictions have gaming climbing from 2 percent of consumer internet traffic in 2015 to 5 percent in 2020, and rising from 10.5 exabytes per month in 2015 to 34 exabytes per month in 2020. To put this in perspective, one exabyte equals one billion gigabytes, and it is commonly said in the internet data community that 5 exabytes encompass all words ever spoken by humankind.

That is a whole lot of traffic growth for the online gaming world in the next few years, and a testament to how powerful broadband networks are enabling technology innovators to deliver immersive media and entertainment experiences that are continuing to capture new audiences.