Gen Z: The Global Game Changers

Blog Post by John Yacano
Gamer, Fringe Gen Zer, LLNW Marketing Specialist

March 12, 2020

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 to be a wild ride!


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


Is it any surprise then that more people watched the LCS League of Legends® championship than watched 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 as well. 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.


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. In fact, 87% of the consumers we surveyed for The State of Online Gaming 2020 report said their biggest pain point is sluggish download speed.


All of this is why Limelight Networks is laser-focused on solving latency issues—because 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 needed the most: 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.