And a research report from gaming intelligence company Digi Capital shows this is more than a third of the estimated $88bn total spending on games this year. By 2018, the company predicts the total spending on gaming software will reach $110bn and about 40% of the total, or $45bn, will be the mobile games’ share.

Looking back on the evolution of mobile gaming – not portable console gaming, but games run on mobile phones – it seems safe to say that the true revolution began in 2007, when Apple set a new standard with its huge-screen no-keyboard iPhone.

Mobile games were far from being a serious business back then, serving only as advertising aids for larger desktop and console releases. Users didn’t even consider mobile to be a proper gaming platform in those days. But when the pocket-sized computer called Apple iPhone hit the market, things changed a lot. In the eight years since then, the number of games available for mobile phones has exploded, covering all ranges from first person shooters and massively multiplayer titles to platinum play casino offers and mobile only social games. And what was a quirk back in the day has now turned into a highly profitable industry.

“Where mobile games will take $3 of every $10 spent by gamers on software in 2015, that figure will go up to $4 out of every $10 by 2018,” Digi-Capital founder and managing director Tim Merel, cited by Venturebeat, wrote in the report.

“Mobile games revenue will grow from $29bn in 2015 to $45bn by 2018 at 15% annual growth. Asia has dominated mobile games revenue since 2013, compared to both North America and Europe, and Digi-Capital forecasts Asia to take over 50% of all mobile games revenue in 2018.”

According to the report, today’s stable and top-grossing games – like Clash of Clans, Candy Crush and their likes – will maintain their leading position in the market beyond this year. This is not going to make it easier for independent developers to break through – they will have to overcome even tougher obstacles to make a living. But the billions of dollars which will continue to pour into the market each year will prove to be a strong enough incentive for developers to keep trying, especially as technologies like mobile marketing automation will become accessible to all.

The complete report detailing the estimates for the mobile gaming market growth for the next couple of years is available through the Digi-Capital website.