Analytics company App Annie forecast spending on mobile gaming titles would grow 20 per cent year-on-year to $120 billion in 2021, largely driven by an increase in adoption of cross-platform functionalities across various devices.

App Annie explained research conducted in collaboration with IDC found gaming on mobile handsets was now the primary growth driver in the digital games segment and was becoming the preferred format.

Consumer spending on mobile games is tipped to be more than 2.9-times higher than desktop PC titles and 3.1-times greater than consoles.

“The smartphone platform has brought the joy of gaming to global users at an unprecedented rate. This is one of the biggest and yet strongest growth verticals in the app industry”, GM of gaming at App Annie Junde Yu stated.

App Annie highlighted a trend by game publishers to implement cross-platform functionalities for their titles, hinting this could prove “essential” for long-term growth.

It noted some of the top grossing games in Q1 including Roblox, Genshin and PUBG Mobile gained “long-term engagement” and revenue potential through cross-platform capabilities and predicted the functionality to continue gain ground versus mobile-only titles.

“Cross-platform functionality will drive acceleration, allowing for a console-quality experience to be in the pocket of every smartphone owner”, Yu stated.

App Annie said another key aspect for growth in mobile titles growth is the ability to offer social features, an aspect recently targeted by Sony following an acquisition of a minority stake in gaming messaging service Discord.