The market for tablet games is forecast to hit US$3.1 billion by 2014, accounting for more than a third of all mobile games revenue by 2016, according to a Juniper Research report.

The research firm attributes this revenue growth – from just US$491 million in 2011 – to the increased size of the tablet user base, along with the suitability of the form factor for gaming.

The additional functionality made possible by the large screens – such as on-screen console-style controls – combined with high-quality graphics will encourage users to pay to download games and make in-app purchases.

And with tablets typically costing around US$500, the report suggests users tend to have higher disposable income than the smartphone user base, meaning they are more disposed to spending money on games.

“Higher user satisfaction with games and a bigger wallet mean that tablet games look to be highly lucrative,” said report author Charlotte Miller.

Juniper also predicts that social and casual games will account for the majority of mobile games downloads while games revenue from feature phones will halve over the next five years.