It's already pretty well established that smartphone games are becoming a significant chunk of both the mobile and gaming economies. But a new report from analyst group Juniper Research says that tablets will start taking a bigger chunk of that pie in the next couple years. By 2014, it will be a $3.1 billion market, analysts project. And by 2016, it says tablet games will account for a third of all mobile game revenue.
Part of that is, of course, because the average tablet game costs more than an iPhone or Android phone game. The same title that might cost 99 cents for an iPhone will cost $4.99 for an optimized HD version on the iPad. Even with that premium, in 2011 tablet game revenues were only around $491 million. And in fact, what Juniper sees as the driving factor for increased money is not the cost of apps themselves but rather in-app content.
Expansions like digital decorations are more enticing on tablets because of their larger screen, and the greater likelihood of showing it off to friends. "The tablet is the perfect device for playing mobile games — the screens are large enough for the user to see the action, no matter how big their hands are. Tablet owners also tend to have a larger disposable income, as tablets are often bought outright rather than subsidized by operators," wrote analyst Charlotte Miller in the report.