October 12, 2023

5G Gaming Revolution: Balancing Innovation and Cybersecurity Challenges

5G Gaming Revolution: Balancing Innovation and Cybersecurity Challenges

As mobile technology (such as 5G) evolves, the gaming industry is expected to revolutionise within the mobile and cloud-based technology landscape with the aims of eliminating frustrating end-user experiences and enabling the development of innovative services or products. This advancement not only enhances multiplayer gaming experiences, including MMOs (massive multiplayer online) and Free2Play games but also fosters stronger social communities and engagement within gaming platforms. However, with the rise of 5G, the gaming industry faces increasing cybersecurity risks, from piracy and data breaches to DDoS attacks. These cybersecurity threats are especially prevalent towards vulnerable users like children and adolescents. As a result, gaming organisations are under demand to construct robust cybersecurity measures to protect stakeholders’ data and maintain consumer trust.

5G technology

GSMA predicts the rapid growth of 5G technology (percentage of connections, excluding licensed cellular IoT) will increase from 12% in 2022 to 54% in 2030. As the introduction and evolution of 5G technology prevents commonly frustrating end-user experiences (such as lag), this is expected to accelerate the adoption of mobile and cloud-based technology. Previously, cloud-based gaming did not experience wide-spread adoption due to unreliable infrastructure. However, with 5G’s higher-capacity network connectivity and reduced latency this enables developers to produce faster and with less limitations as they are no longer restricted to hardware platforms. The increase of developer freedom allows organisations to leverage and produce more innovative services and products to their customers. In a study of a MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) the degrees of player intolerance to network delay, delay jitter, client packet loss, and server packet loss are in the proportion of 1:2:4:3 approximately.

5G provides users with the ability to support numerous devices simultaneously and 4K gameplay, thus driving massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, multiplayer online games and Free2Play (F2P) games. This ability to create, cultivate and enhance social communities within the gaming platform will further drive an increase in mobile adoption. Tamboini et al, and Ryan et al argue playing with another person enhances feelings of relatedness. For example, in MMORPG Everquest II, social ties are evidenced to have significant impacts on player churn rates. 

Beyond user-experience based adoption, 5G technology will increase the number of players due to ease of availability and access. Throughout 2023, over 30 new markets will launch 5G, mainly in Asia and Africa, in addition to the predicted international increase of smartphone adoption. Despite the increased adoption of 5G which dramatically enhances their reach and product quality, gaming organisations will need to optimise their data handling capabilities to balance an extended database and enhanced graphic quality so as to not create higher amounts of latency, thus resulting in an increased player churn rate.

According to Global Data, the cloud games segment is expected to be the fastest growing segment with over 30 CAGR (compound annual growth rate). This means organisations require rapid development and innovation processes which the agile methodology is best suited for.


According to Irdeto, the impact of game piracy is predicted at over $21 million USD for highly anticipated AAA titles, which mainly occurs within the critical 14 days release cycle. In one case they detected over 355,000 torrent downloads of an illegal copy during this release period of a major sports title on P2P networks with 12% on the first day. An additional 84% of game developers are continuously concerned about piracy and tampering such as cheating (leading to decline in user engagement and thus a direct link to revenue loss). 

A recent EY study, discovered that whilst 47% of gaming executives hold the belief that mitigating cyber risks is a key challenge today, this increases to 58% when looking out into three years. In order to support this growing challenge, 47% of gaming executives are hiring employees with advanced cybersecurity skills and 39% are partnering with third-party cyber security firms.

Organisations need to make sure they are effectively vetting their third party suppliers to prevent additional vulnerabilities within their supply chain. One contributing factor to third party supplier evaluation is certifications such as IS0 270001. This is a rigorous audit process which prevents cyber criminals breaking into organisations and data breaches caused by internal actors and human error. ISO 27001’s framework makes sure there are the correct tools to strengthen organisations across the three pillars of cyber security: people, processes and technology.

Whilst the overall DDoS (Distrubted Denial of Service) attacks are decreasing, this is not the case in the gaming and gambling industries. According to Cloudflare, gaming and gambling organisations were 2022’s most targeted by network-layer attacks with a 405% increase in Mirari botnet attacks from Q2 to Q3 in 2022. With the average duration of DDoS (distrubted denial of service) attacks, increasing from 30 minutes in Q2 of 2021 to 50 hours in Q3 of 2022, this poses an increased level of threat to the gaming industry due to multi-access device services. This form of cyber vulnerability in gaming communities is replicated across the entertainment industry. For example, in 2021 Twitch experienced a data breach of 135 gigabytes, exposing their source code, internal security tools, infrastructure data and streamers payout figures.

As a result of prevalent DDoS attacks, gaming organisations need to be equipped to deal with IT outages on a large scale for their customer experiences. WeShape is partnered with Uptime Labs. Recently, shortlisted for the Newry Business Awards under the category of "Best New Business'', Uptime Labs specalises in IT incident responses. To calculate your organisation's downtime cost, use our free downtime calculator.

Vulnerable users

The volume of digital threats on online gaming launched against young games increased by 57% to over 7 million from the previous 4.5 million in 2021. As the tech industry is constantly evolving, it becomes increasingly difficult to monitor and protect vulnerable users such as children and adolescents. Due to their lack of cybersecurity knowledge, they have become main targets in the gaming industry for cybersecurity attacks. This is done via phishing schemes intended for data capture, particularly financial or other sensitive information.

As an increasing number of young people are utilising and being targeted on these platforms, gaming and gambling organisations are forced to shift and reassess how they protect their stakeholders data.


Consumer trust is decreasing as demonstrated by 33% of global consumers have already become victims of a data breach, a further 54% believe that companies should be forced into mandatory data protection controls like encryption and 21% stop using the company. This culture of distrust is increased within gaming as 55% of gamers have suffered a data breach in comparison to the 33% of overall consumers. WeShape provides IS0 27001 approved services to ensure our stakeholders data is taken care of with the highest cyber hygiene standards.

In order to cater to our customers who are rapidly scaling and adapting, WeShape are agile experts and have established communities within the agile space. We provide training and coaching in agile, scrum, product delivery and DDD event storming to enhance organisational innovation practices and processes to enable gaming organisations to keep up with the quickly changing market landscape self-sufficently. Our bi-weekly cadence calls and dedicated account management are designed to support the agile methodology. As organisations scale, WeShape ensures our aims and objectives are aligned with expectations through weekly sprints and monthly business reporting.

In addition to being cloud native, WeShape are official AWS partners. As the gaming industry expands into cloud-based platforms, WeShape has a strong ability to advise, deliver and implement AWS solutions. 

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