The 21st century is in full swing. Almost every self-respecting gamer has a gaming PC at home, and the pocket is always pleasantly burdened by a modern smartphone full of mobile games. Maybe there is a PS4 or even PS5 near the TV if luck formed a successful combo with initiative and got the better of a global deficit.

As you already understood, the hot topic of our today’s conversation is the confrontation between mobile vs PC games. So let’s dive in.

Mobile vs PC: Which Is the Better Platform for Gamers?

At first glance, it would seem why try to compare the incomparable? PC and mobile games require a completely different approach, from controls and graphics to optimization and UX/UI. But it’s not a secret for anyone that it is mobile games that have been leading the gaming market for a long time and constitute serious competition for both PCs and consoles, which cannot catch up with them even by combining their shares. PC vs console vs mobile market distribution looks like this.

Let’s objectively evaluate PC and mobile gaming from the point of view of the average gamer.

On the one hand, PC games are a stronghold of reliability and the most comfortable secluded area where you can play the most modern games (if the hardware allows) and improve your experience with fancy devices. Multiplayer games only boosted the general fan more strongly: the ability to play with real people, communicate and work in teams immersed people in the gaming world with their heads. The graphics are improved every year, showing wonders of realism: lighting and weather effects, particle effects, ray tracing, reflections, and so on. Huge monitors, surround sound and convenient controls remove all barriers between the virtual and real worlds.

On the other hand, the portability of mobile games poses a serious challenge to canned one-on-one gatherings with a large-sized device at home. Your smartphone is always with you: you can play in transport, during a lunch break or while waiting for an order in a cafe. Modern games are perfectly adapted for any device, so it’s a pleasure to play them. At the same time, smartphones and their RAM have become much more powerful: now it is not uncommon to see the phrase “gaming smartphone”. And well-known titles like Call of Duty have long ago captured the incredible power of the mobile market and have spoiled their hit on mobile devices. So now you will find on your smartphone your favorite games, multiplayer, and whatever your heart desires. Controls, of course, is significantly inferior to a PC, but portability has to be paid for.

Be that as it may, mobile games cannot completely replace PC games. The mobile processor and screen are powerless to showcase the latest graphical advances and 4K resolution in AAA titles. There can be no question of playing Metro Exodus or Witcher on a smartphone – none of the existing ones currently have enough power for this. Therefore, the very concept of PC vs mobile gaming is inappropriate. Each of these areas has its niche, available only to one of them.

The developers have long ago documented the promise of a cross-platform approach. This allows you to reach a large part of the audience of the players. A prime example is Fortnite, available for mobile, PC and consoles. Not only is it a multiplayer game, but it is also constantly updated with new events, themed events and skins.

We also had a hand in increasing the popularity of Fortnite: you can learn more about it in our case study, or just enjoy a few skins concepts we created.

Development Cost

More often than not, developing a mobile game is cheaper than a PC entertainment product. But in the light of modern realities, this statement is rather ambiguous.

The cost of games for both PC and mobile devices always depends on many factors. The scale of the idea, the size of the team and the technologies used are just some of the aspects that will shape the price.

For example, the famous hyper casual game Angry Birds cost Rovio $ 140,000 to develop, although it would seem that games of this direction should have a much smaller budget. At the same time, the indie PC game Night in the Woods, conceived by two people, raised $ 200,000 on the crowdfunding platform, although the guys were asking for only $ 50,000. Crowdfunding makes game creation more accessible even for a single developer and greatly equalizes mobile vs PC development options.

The huge range of possible prices for mobile gaming vs PC gaming development often confuses and makes budgeting difficult. And while your competitors are groping, you can get a full calculation of your game and find out the purpose of every dollar spent. Tell us about your project and we will give you clear budget guidelines, detailing each expense item.

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Just a Minute for Statistics

Let’s back up our considerations with mobile gaming vs PC gaming statistics. Hubspot claims there are now 2.2 billion mobile gamers worldwide. And DFC Intelligence adds that the number of PC gamers is approximately 1.5 billion.

Now let’s move on to mobile games vs PC games revenue. In 2020, revenue from the global PC games market was estimated at nearly $ 37.4 billion, while the mobile games market generated a revenue of over $ 86.3 billion. If we consider the full picture of mobile vs PC vs console statistics, then we must also mention that the consoles segment came in second with $ 51.2 billion. What is important now is that the first generation of gamers has already grown up and has significant purchasing power.

The gaming market is projected to reach $ 196 billion by 2022, with a mobile market share of at least $ 95 billion. Note that in one first month of 2021, global game sales totaled $ 11.6 billion.

Best Games 2020: Which Platform Give a Taste of Its Quality

Every year, everyone in the gaming industry eagerly awaits The Game Awards, an awards ceremony celebrating achievements in the video game industry. The latter took place on December 11, 2020, and highlighted the most notable games of the past year.

The Last of Us Part II by the American company Naughty Dog became the best game of the year. This PS4 exclusive has also garnered several awards in other nominations: Game Direction, Narrative, Audio Design, Performance, Innovation in Accessibility, and Action/Adventure Game. 

Among Us was voted Best Mobile Game. It works great on Nintendo Switch, Windows, Android, iOS and Xbox One.

For convenience, the rest of the winners are given in the form of a table.

NominationWinnerPlatformDeveloper
Game of the YearThe Last of Us Part IIPS4Naughty Dog
Best Game DirectionThe Last of Us Part IIPS4Naughty Dog
Best NarrativeThe Last of Us Part IIPS4Naughty Dog
Best Art DirectionGhost of TsushimaPS4Sucker Punch Productions
Best Score and MusicFinal Fantasy VII RemakePS4Square Enix
Best Audio DesignThe Last of Us Part IIPS4Naughty Dog
Games for ImpactTell Me WhyWindows, Xbox OneDontnod Entertainment
Best OngoingNo Man’s SkyWindows, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/SHello Games
Best IndieHadesNintendo Switch, macOS, Windows, Mac OSSupergiant Games
Best Mobile GameAmong UsAndroid, iOS, Windows, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/SInnerSloth
Best Community SupportFall Guys: Ultimate KnockoutWindows, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/SMediatonic 
Best VR/ARHalf-Life: AlyxWindows, LinuxValve
Innovation in AccessibilityThe Last of Us Part IIPS4Naughty Dog
Best ActionHadesNintendo Switch, macOS, Windows, Mac OSSupergiant Games
Best Action/AdventureThe Last of Us Part IIPS4Naughty Dog
Best Role PlayingFinal Fantasy VII RemakePS4Square Enix
Best FightingMortal Kombat 11 UltimateWindows, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo SwitchNetherRealm Studios
Best FamilyAnimal Crossing: New HorizonNintendo SwitchNintendo EPD
Best Sim/StrategyMicrosoft Flight SimulatorDOS, Windows, macOS, Xbox OneAsobo Studio
Best Sports/RacingTony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2Windows, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo SwitchVicarious Visions
Best MultiplayerAmong UsAndroid, iOS, Windows, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/SInnerSloth
Best Debut GamePhasmophobiaAndroid, WindowsKinetic Games
Best Esports Game
League of LegendsWindows, macOSRiot Games
Most Anticipated GameElden RingWindows, PS4, Xbox OneFromSoftware
Player’s VoiceGhost of TsushimaPS4Sucker Punch Productions

It is important to note that the number of games released annually for PC and consoles is approximately the same. And despite the fact that the console market often generates exclusives that are not available on other platforms, we remember that the revenue of the console segment is in second place after the mobile and significantly exceeds that of the PC.

Therefore, speaking of the gaming triumvirate of mobile vs console vs PC in terms of return on resources spent on development, we can confidently say that with the right skills and deep knowledge of the industry, you can succeed in any of the directions.

Equally interesting is the ranking of the best games 2020 from the largest review site Metacritic. It was compiled on the basis of the best average ratings. And here we have the following picture.

GamePlatformDeveloperScore
Persona 5 RoyalPS4Atlus95
The Last of Us Part IIPS4Naughty Dog93
Half-Life: AlyxPCValve93
Ori and the Will of the WispsNintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, WindowsMoon Studios93
HadesPCSupergiant Games93

As we can see, mobile games do not compete on a par with desktop ones – they are too different from a technical and visual point of view. Mobile games have their ratings based on information from Google Play and the App Store. The best game of 2020 according to both stores was a cross-platform action-adventure game with the open world and RPG elements called Genshin Impact, which is also available for Windows and PS4/PS5.

Genshin Impact has been hailed as the most successful international launch in the history of the Chinese gaming industry. Here are some facts:

  • The Genshin Impact stream on Twitch was watched by 110 thousand people a few hours after the launch. According to this indicator, the game has overtaken Fortnite.
  • The largest gaming magazine Game Informer rated Genshin Impact 9.25 out of 10 points.
  • The game has over 20 million pre-registrations worldwide.

This is further confirmation that the most advanced developers, aware of the huge prospects of the mobile market and striving to reach the maximum audience, are going cross-platform.

Expectations From the Gaming Industry

As part of the conversation about mobile and PC gaming, we can highlight several key expectations that have already largely been translated into reality:

  1. Cross-platform development of modern games: Fortnite, Dauntless, Bleeding Edge, etc.
  2. Mobile porting of old desktop games: Heroes of Might and Magic III, Tomb Raider, Dragon’s Lair, etc.
  3. Creation of mobile versions of famous titles: Need for Speed: No Limits, BioShock 2D, Lineage 2 Revolution, etc.

Mobile devices are expected to increase in performance and power, which will allow them to support even more advanced games. However, even with the progressive cross-platform trend, PC and mobile niches will remain largely separate, with their audience and specificity. They have their aces up their sleeves, and the game parties do not overlap. So there will be no winner in the mobile vs PC confrontation. There is simply no point in fighting. 

As for the details about future changes and innovations in the industry, we have everything covered. You can see more technological, social, format and feminine trends common to all gaming directions in our game design special research.

Final Note

Mobile gaming is a very promising area that is often used by savvy developers to enter the market. Creating a mobile game often requires much fewer resources and time than developing a PC version. But at the same time, we must remember that there are many enterprising people: the mobile market is incredibly competitive, and the audience of players has long been fed up with monotonous mediocre products.

PC games require a more advanced approach. Even though indie games do not slow down and even one person can make their game, only a few achieve outstanding results. Therefore, the creation of high-budget games is, to a certain extent, even more justified from the point of view of the likelihood of making a profit.

Outsourcing has become the most popular way to create mobile and PC gaming products. With its help, both individual developers and large companies can delegate many tasks to professional teams and thereby significantly save time and resources. Artists, modelers and programmers at Kevuru Games are ready to take on the full cycle development of a mobile or PC game, or individual art or animation tasks. At the same time, you do not have to worry about quality and timing: over 9 years of operation, the company has ideally adjusted all work processes and developed an ideal cooperation scheme that always adapts to each client.