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Gen Z: The Global Game Changers

By: Edgio | March 12, 2020
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Original source: Limelight Networks

From e-sports to streaming wars to cloud gaming, the world’s youngest consumers (age 18-25) are now in the driver’s seat of the $150 billion+ gaming industry and it looks like a wild ride!

Some may find this shocking, but for digital natives, it’s a no-brainer: Generation Z is the first generation to spend more time watching other people play video games than watching traditional sports. Now let that sink in. More time watching video games than baseball. Or basketball. Or even football.

Is it surprising that more people watched the LCS League of Legends® championship than the 2019 Super Bowl? Or that state-sanctioned e-sports leagues have exploded in US schools? Or that colleges doled out more than $17 million in e-sports scholarships last year?

All this has major implications for those in the media and entertainment industry. Global powerhouses such as Nike and MasterCard are now throwing money at e-sport sponsorships, hoping to grab a piece of this very lucrative pie. Even mega-brand Google got in on the action, launching their new cloud-gaming platform, Stadia (update: Stadia is shutting down in 2023).

Right now, the main obstacle all gamers face is latency. Whether playing casually or competing online, high latency and slow download speeds are back-breakers. 87% of the consumers surveyed for The State of Online Gaming 2020 report said their biggest pain point is sluggish download speed.

This is why Limelight Networks (now Edgio) is laser-focused on solving latency issues — it’s mission-critical for the world’s leading gaming brands, where real-time, immersive, interactive experiences are a big part of the magic our customers are selling. Limelight overcomes latency challenges by putting the application logic closer to where it is most needed: at the network edge.

You can get a 30,000-foot view of the online gaming trends I touched on here, as well as specific data from 4,500 consumers in France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the U.K. and the U.S. when you download a copy of The State of Online Gaming 2020. It’s our most popular report and yours free, so take a look and share with your colleagues and investors if you wish.

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