A new report from Juniper Research has predicted that the digital games market will grow to generate more than $100 billion by the end of the year and climb to $132 billion in total revenues by 2021.
In its report, the firm named Finnish game developer Supercell - which is behind popular mobile games like Clash of Clans and Clash Royale - as the market leader. Supercell and many other smartphone game developers focus on a "free to play" (F2P) model, allowing users to play for free but charging for additional extras.
This, the study explains, is a driving factor in the rapid growth of the sector and this is now leading to more developers in the PC industry adopting a similar model for their games.
In a press release, research author Lauren Foye said there is much more opportunity for the F2P model on PCs, especially in Western markets.
She explained that digital platforms such as Xbox Live are also boosting their revenues through free to play models, with games consoles playing host to F2P titles that then generate revenue from in-game purchases and add-ons.
Juniper predicts that the outlook is positive for the mobile industry, but that smaller developers like Niantic must create longevity and engagement if they want to maintain or increase their number of active users.
Like many industries, developers will need to integrate advertising into their games to boost their revenue further. The research found that this is most effective when users are allowed to opt in. This can involve players watching a short video to give them an ad-free experience or give them more in-game credits alongside other paid options.