PC and console gaming: Level up your growth channels

The mobile gaming app market is arguably one of the most competitive, with thousands of new games released every year. As gaming app developers and publishers think about ways to grow their apps and stand out from the competition, many are looking to cross-platform gaming.

While expanding your mobile gaming app to other platforms like PC and console may seem daunting initially, cross-device gaming will serve your app business well and is shaping up to become essential in the near future. At Adjust, we lead the way in trailblazing measurement in new channels for app marketers, and our cutting-edge PC | Console Measurement solution is no exception.

Therefore, we’ve created this guide for mobile gaming apps looking to expand to other platforms. Uncover the current gaming market, understand why cross-platform gaming is a forward-thinking direction for your app, and learn how to successfully expand your mobile app to PC and console.

The gaming market landscape

The rise of cross-device gaming

Three out of four gamers play on multiple platforms, including mobile, console, and PC. This number is only expected to increase as more games align with user expectations and expand to multiple platforms. Let’s dive into the current growth of the digital gaming industry.

The global gaming ecosystem

A 2023 report by Newzoo revealed that while mobile games still dominated the global game revenue, revenue from console games grew 7.4% from the year before, and revenue from PC games also increased by 1.6%. These numbers are predicted to rise, with the number of players worldwide anticipated to reach 3.79 billion by 2026.

Chart displaying video game revenues in 2023 globally.

The popularity of cross-device gaming

Did you know nearly 50% of players game on more than one platform? In fact, 23% of cross-platform gamers play across the gaming trifecta of mobile, console, and PC, as illustrated in the graphic below. There are a few drivers behind the evolution of cross-device gaming.

Chart displaying PC and/or console platform player overlap.

1. Cloud gaming technology advances

Cloud gaming, which allows players to stream games on demand from a remote server, has an expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38.36% from 2023 to 2028 and is one of the largest factors driving the surge in cross-device gaming.

Cloud gaming aims to allow players to game from anywhere, on any device, providing freedom from losing progress or being limited to a specific device. Much like the rise of streaming, cloud gaming meets the growing demand for the “always-available” content aspect that has become today's new standard.

2. Greater accessibility and inclusivity

The aforementioned freedom found in cross-platform gaming promotes greater accessibility among players and allows players from different platforms to play together in multiplayer gaming.

Additionally, games that are multiplatform tend to offer a larger number of customizable control options and schemes. This allows players with disabilities to enjoy a more inclusive gaming experience. By widening games’ accessibility and inclusivity, cross-platform gaming constantly attracts new players who may not have otherwise entered the realm of crossplay.

3. Subscription-based gaming acceleration

The appetite for subscription-based gaming among players is heightening, with the global subscription-based gaming market projected to hit US$55.94 billion by 2031. Many subscription-based games are built to be played across platforms, like the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Game Pass for Console subscriptions, which let players install games on both Xbox consoles and PCs.

The main reasons gamers are flocking to subscription-based gaming are:

  • Ability to access a wide variety of games
  • More cost-effective
  • Convenient as users can access games on multiple devices
  • Exclusive content dropped within subscriptions

Major brand names dive into cross-device gaming

The investment in multiplatform games by prominent brands reveals that cross-device gaming is more than a trend but the emerging reality for the gaming industry.

Late last year, YouTube released 30 mini-games called “Playables” that users can play instantly without downloading. These games can be played across iOS, Android, and desktop.

Another famous over-the-top (OTT) video streaming service, Netflix, recently added several award-winning titles to its burgeoning library of games that users can play on their iOS or Android devices. These games include titles like “Money Heist” and “Shadow and Bone”, based on the popular Netflix series of the same names. The releases came after Netflix added a new controller app allowing subscribers to play games on their smart TVs.

Looking to other devices, Microsoft is reportedly planning to launch an Xbox mobile store to take on Apple and Google. The chief reason for creating a new app store for Xbox? Michael Spencer, CEO of Xbox, says, “To make sure that Xbox is not only relevant today but for the next 10, 20 years, we’re going to have to be strong across many screens.”

Having strength across multiple screens is the direction for a gaming business’ sustainability, with mobile gaming apps being no exception.

Cross-gaming terms explained

Cross-progression: Also known as cross-save, this capability allows gamers to play a game on one platform and continue progression on another.

Crossplay: The ability of players on different gaming hardware, such as a console, desktop, or mobile app, to play with players on a different platform, enabling multiplayer gaming.

Cross-device gaming: This refers to the ability to play games on different devices within the same platform, allowing players to switch between devices while playing the same game. While cross-device gaming may include some cross-platform elements, its main purpose is to provide seamless gameplay.

Cross-platform gaming: This term encompasses both cross-device gaming and crossplay and refers to the ability of gamers to switch gameplay on different devices, while maintaining the same progress using cross-save functionality.

Cross-gen: Short for cross-generational, cross-gen means gamers can play with players across consoles of multiple generations.

Benefits of cross-device gaming

Why expanding your app to PC and console matters

There are multiple advantages to expanding the gameplay of your mobile app to PC and/or console.

Gijsbert Pols

Director of Connected TV & New Channels, Adjust

Future sustainability

As referenced above, the future of your mobile gaming app’s business can be better secured if you expand into cross-device gaming. Culturally, gaming has become more mainstream than ever before, with popular video games like “The Last of Us” or “Super Mario Bros” making the jump to TV and theaters and achieving wild success.

Gaming has already become a standard hobby among the younger generations, with 95% of Millennials and Gen Z claiming to play video games in some capacity. And they’re doing it often! Half report playing on console at least weekly, and over 60% say they play mobile games weekly or more.

Social gaming is a massive driver of gaming activity, as 40% of Gen Z and Millennials say they socialize more in video games than in the physical world. Social gaming may soon become the norm, hosting virtual friend-making, interaction, and learning for younger generations.

For example, let’s zoom in on the U.K.’s gaming population, where 71% of 16-24-year-olds and 76% of 12-15-year-olds play games online. This incoming generation will soon have spending power, and their inclination toward gaming bodes well for the future gaming demand.

Chart displaying the percentage of UK online gamers by age.

More revenue opportunities

Taking your app cross-device also means your game will have a more extensive reach as it encounters PC and console users who may not have downloaded your mobile app.

In addition to casting a wider net for potential users, expanding to PC and console gaming provides different monetization models, such as in-game purchases, subscriptions, or upfront purchases. Gaming app developers and studios can tap into other monetization strategies to accrue more revenue beyond what their mobile apps are generating.

In short, having diverse revenue streams is a solid business principle to employ when establishing your mobile gaming app’s financial security, and embracing cross-platform gaming is a great way to make that happen.

Increased gameplay

Cross-device gaming provides gamers with the flexibility to play when they want, how they want, and where they want. Let’s say you capture a user who prefers PC games. They start your game on PC, but then they’ve an hour commute to work. If your game has crossplay functionality, then the user can continue playing on their mobile app, logging more sessions and likely driving more revenue toward your bottom line.

Reduced maintenance costs

Naturally, expanding your mobile gaming app to PC and console requires significant financial investment. However, it is markedly cheaper than producing separate games across different platforms.

By harnessing cross-platform technologies, developers can create a single codebase to use across multiple platforms. They are also likely utilizing an existing backend infrastructure from their mobile app, made up of databases and servers, and can leverage this as well to expand to other platforms. This makes it easier to streamline bug fixes and updates across all platforms, removing the need for individual maintenance for each platform and saving money.

Cross-device transformation examples

Real-life examples of games that have gone cross-device

Take a look at these mobile gaming apps that are either in the process of expanding to other platforms or have already made the leap. You’ll note the senior leadership of these games provide their reasoning for embracing cross-platform gameplay.

The Battle of Polytopia’s success going multiplatform

Initially released in 2016 on iOS and then on Android, the award-winning game The Battle of Polytopia by the studio Midjiwan later added a multiplayer mode, a desktop version, and a release on Steam and Nintendo Switch. Going cross-device has served the game well, and the company celebrated 20 million installs on mobile in 2023.

Midijiwan’s general manager Christian Lövsted, stated, “For the wider industry, cross-platform gaming is very important…By releasing the game on multiple platforms, we open the game to a larger audience—benefitting players who want differing gameplay experiences.”

Cross-platform gaming example.

Tick Tock: A Tale for Two wins with cross-platform game

Other Tales Interactive game studio released its experimental storytelling game Tick Tock: A Tale for Two as a two-player game in 2019. The studio was an early adopter of cross-platform gaming and has made its game available across the following platforms: Nintendo Switch, Android, PC, iOS, and Steam. The game was well received and went on to win a Google Play Award. It was also nominated for a BAFTA.

Other Tales Interactive will soon release new titles in 2024 with cross-platform in mind. Regarding its cross-platform strategy, Tanja Tankred, the studio’s Founder, says, “We like the idea of reaching as many players as possible and that people can play on their preferred devices.”

KEK Entertainment wins over investors

The founders of gaming studio KEK Entertainment made a splash as former executives at Pixonic, with their multiplayer game War Robots title generating over 250 million downloads since its debut in 2014. They later founded KEK Entertainment to create platform-agnostic intellectual property (IP) for multiplayer games and better cater to the growing demand for cross-platform gaming. Investors seem to agree with the studio’s vision as KEK Entertainment recently secured US$8 million in funding.

In an interview with Pocket Gamer Biz, Founder Georgy Egorov said, “Crossplay opens access to a wider audience. Our long-term plan is to create a significant IP that unites various projects. Therefore, we aim to focus heavily on building and working with communities."

One Punch Man:World launches across PC and mobile devices

Based on the webcomic that became a major anime hit, One Punch Man: World is a title by Crunchyroll Games and Perfect World that will be launched across Android, iOS, and PC in March 2024. The game promises full 3D graphics and cross-progressions optimized for multiple platforms, aligned with the game’s strategy of crossplay.

Example of pc and mobile game.

Terry Li, General Manager of Games at Crunchyroll, stated, “Great cross-platform experiences are essential for the video game industry. Players appreciate options, especially when it comes to where they get to play. Titles that deliver on that cross-platform promise are likely to have a lively, wide-spread player base, which makes stepping into a game more exciting.”

Getting started

How to expand your mobile game to PC and console

So, ready to port your game from mobile to PC and console? We’ve collected four points of consideration to help you plan your expansion to cross-platform.

1. Select the gaming platforms you wish to join

Your gaming subvertical, target audience, and budget will all impact which gaming platform you decide to join.

Here are the most popular PC and console platforms.


Steam is the largest digital distribution platform for PC gaming, supporting 29 languages and boasting a daily record of 32 million users online in 2023. The platform also supports console games. Indie developers may feel the marketplace is a bit crowded, but Steam’s reputation among users as being trustworthy is worth consideration. Steam also offers discussion forums that allow gamers to interact with each other and ask questions.

Cost of publishing on Steam: US$100 publishing fee per game and 70/30 revenue split.

Cross-platform gaming on Steam: Cross-platform play is supported between PC (Steam and Microsoft Store) and Xbox Series X/S. Note that cross-progression is only supported between Microsoft Store and Xbox versions.

If you’re looking for an indie PC gaming marketplace, is it! You can publish your game there for free and determine the minimum price for items (can be free). Note that the vast majority of games on the platform are free-to-play, which should be factored into your monetization model if you decide to go with

Cost of publishing on Free to publish and default 10% revenue split, but can be adjusted to 0%.

Epic Games Store

Epic Games Store is more curated than its competitor, Steam, but smaller in overall size. Game developers like Epic Games's minimalist UI that makes navigating easy and its cross-platform support, which lets gamers play against friends using a different platform. Other social features include chats and an invite list by which friends can invite their friends to play.

Cost of publishing on Epic Games Store: US$100 publishing fee per game and 88/12 revenue split.

Cross-platform gaming on Epic Games Store: Using Epic’s Online Services platform, players on Xbox, PlayStation, PC, and Nintendo Switch can all play together.

Nintendo Switch

At the heart of the design of Nintendo Switch rests its cross-platform capability, for which it gets the second part of its name, “Switch”. The video hybrid console is a tablet that can be used either as a portable, handheld device or docked and connected to a TV. Nintendo Switch offers crossplay so that users can play with friends who own the same device. For instance, the social simulation game Animal Crossing on Nintendo Switch allows players to visit each other’s islands and join villages together.

Nintendo Switch boasts a large and diverse player base, making it well-suited for incurring exposure to your game.


A major player in the gaming industry, Microsoft’s platform Xbox has long been a fixture of the gaming console market. With a huge user base and several programs for developers, Xbox’s offerings are robust for those who can stand out from the large collection on the platform. The cost of publishing on Xbox varies greatly depending on factors like the certification process, access to development tools and supports, etc.

The Xbox Game Pass, for Xbox video game consoles and Microsoft Windows PCs, is a subscription service that allows users to choose and download games from a gaming catalog. Getting your game into one of the subscriptions for Xbox Game Pass could significantly boost your game’s user acquisition efforts, but note that the competition is stiff.

Xbox game pass

Cross-platform gaming on Xbox: Xbox cloud gaming lets users play with compatible devices, including Android, iOS, Windows PC, and MacBooks, as well as smart TVs.


One of the most popular gaming consoles, Sony’s PlayStation is another industry console titan, with an online gaming service called PlayStation Network (PSN), a subscription service known as PlayStation Plus (PS+), PlayStation VR, a virtual reality headset, and its own PlayStation Store that sells digital games and downloadable content.

For PlayStation, crossplay varies from game to game. This means you can make your game available across mobile, computer, and other console devices. Like Xbox, the cost of publishing a game on PlayStation varies widely depending on your development needs, and the marketplace is quite crowded.

2. Access and set product roadmap and budgets

Before launching headfirst into developing a cross-platform game, it’s best to do your due diligence and review your product needs in lieu of your current resources. Here’s a quick rundown of considerations.

Game compatibility

Review the compatibility and technical requirements of your mobile game and the platform you desire to publish on as different platforms may have specific software or hardware requirements that your game must meet.

This includes ensuring compatibility with the game controllers on the platform you wish to join. Note that consoles like Xbox or Playstation have certification processes you’ll need to pass.

UX and UI adaptation

Remember, expanding to PC or console means you’re adapting your game for a screen that’s likely larger than a mobile screen. Therefore, you’ll need to adjust UI elements like text, buttons, and menus to correctly scale on a larger display with different aspect ratios.

One great thing about taking your game to the PC and console realm is that these platforms typically have higher-quality graphics than mobile apps, thanks to their advanced hardware capabilities. So, take advantage of the enhanced hardware of the PC or console platform you wish to join by aligning with its configurations to supercharge your game’s graphics.

Additional costs

Again, taking your game cross-platform is an investment in addition to the regular costs needed to run your mobile gaming app. Budget for development costs, localization, possible licensing or publishing fees, marketing, and for ongoing support that will be needed to maintain your game on multiple platforms.

Different monetization strategies

On the flip side of costs, let’s talk about the more exciting aspect of your budget: Making money. While you likely have mobile in-game advertising under your belt along with a fixed app monetization model, advertising on PC and console requires different monetization strategies.

Most PC and console games run on premium or pay-to-play (P2) monetization models. However, more recently, there’s been an emergence of hybrid monetization models by which games combine two of the following: Microtransactions, in-game advertising, or subscriptions.

Utilize social media platforms geared toward gamers

Some social media platforms are more beloved by gamers than others. Knowing which ones to add to your marketing strategy and how to tailor your ads on social media and interactions with users on these platforms could supercharge your marketing.

Recommended social platforms for cross device marketing.
  • Discord is a popular instant messaging and VoIP social platform that gaming communities and developers flock to talk about all things game via voice calls, text messages, and video calls. An impressive 70% of Discord users use the platform for gaming and other activities like study groups.
  • Twitch is a live video streaming service centered on live video game streaming. And the users who watch gaming consume a great deal of content, with an average of 70 million hours of content consumed daily.
  • Reddit hosts many gaming-related communities, known as subreddits, by which gamers discuss games, share fandom, ask questions, and find community. And get this—69% of Redditors who game use Reddit to learn more about new gaming titles.
  • TikTok, the short-form video platform, hosts a wealth of game-related content. In 2023, TikTok reported that users had watched over 3 trillion views of video game content in the previous year.

3. Determine your ad strategy

When evaluating how you want to promote your game’s expansion, review these tips.

Platform-specific marketing

Every gaming platform is different. What you do for your mobile app marketing will differ from that on PC or console. Tailor your strategy for each platform and harness platform-specific promotional opportunities to create hype around your game.

For example, on Steam, you could have your developers give sneak peeks or discuss playing your game. While on TikTok, you can take advantage of the platform’s culture to create game-specific memes and facilitate buzz around your game.

Tap into the gaming community

Gamers are one of the most active groups in terms of online communities. From forums to fan clubs to social media groups, players love to discuss and share their gaming experiences. Participate in your target audience’s community by answering questions, teasing updates about your game, and joining relevant discussions.

Tips for harnessing the gaming community for promotion:

  • Maximize user-generated content by encouraging players to share their own content related to your game, like mods, gameplay videos, or fan art.
  • Use influencer marketing across all gaming platforms and consider partnering with gaming streamers as well to reach your target audience.
  • Organize game tournaments or contests. Host a gaming tournament to attract competitive gamers and boost your game’s visibility.

Leverage your current app users

Don’t forget about your game’s mobile app users. Not only will they be more excited to try your game on PC or console than the average player, but they’re also an excellent source for word-of-mouth marketing. Incentivize referrals by offering your mobile app users and those they refer rewards like discounts, in-game currency, or items. Factoring in cross-platform progressions, meaning users can carry over their progress to another platform, will also encourage users to explore your game on other platforms.

For more insights on incentivizing your mobile app users, check out our guide to app gamification.

4. Get cross-device measurement

Imagine trying to keep track of a variety of user journeys, spanning multiple platforms—a mobile user taps your in-game ad, or a new user downloads your app after seeing both a paid social ad and a connected TV ad, and so on. As gamers trend toward cross-device gameplay and advertisers try to figure out cross-device marketing, cross-device measurement is vital for a multiplatform game’s success.

As you scale your efforts across multiple platforms and channels, you’ll need to access accurate data from all your marketing sources in a single place. In doing so, you can view, analyze, and act quickly on insights you see to optimize your campaigns for maximum ROAS.

By partnering with a mobile measurement platform (MMP) like Adjust that has expanded its measurement capabilities to include newer channels like PC, console, and CTV, gaming marketers can monitor and prove the ROI on all of their cross-device marketing efforts.

Maximize cross-device marketing

Why Adjust is the MMP of choice for gaming apps going cross-platform

With over fourteen years in the industry, Adjust has been a staple measurement platform for mobile apps as we help them navigate both technology and privacy changes while continually offering innovative new solutions for the ever-evolving times.

Robust measurement across all devices and channels

Having already foreseen the need for cross-device measurement, we built out our comprehensive measurement and analytics platform so app marketers and developers can follow the user journey across devices and channels—including mobile, web, CTV, PC, and console. If you can advertise there, we can measure it.

We recently took a significant step in our cross-device measurement evolution by launching our PC | Console Measurement solution, which is geared toward helping mobile gaming apps expand to PC and console. With this solution, mobile gaming apps can unlock new revenue streams for greater growth.

Adjust PC console measurement solution single vs. cross device.

With Adjust’s PC | Console Measurement solution, you can:

  • Get unified analytics across mobile, CTV, PC, and console in one location.
  • Use in-depth insights to magnify your app’s reach.
  • Uncover the channels that best promote your game.
  • See how much and how often users spend in various channels.
  • Pinpoint where high-value users come from to optimize lifetime value (LTV).

Strong partnerships and integrations

We want to ensure that you can meet your users where they play, which is why we offer an expansive Partner Marketplace and platform partners like Steam, Native PC, Epic Games, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo.

Adjust has a first-of-its-kind integration with the new Play Install Referrer API for Google Play Games on PC. Our close collaboration with Google meant our gaming clients were among the first to get their hands on this API, improving their competitive edge by that much more!

Arjun Dayal

Director, Google Play Games

Proven track record

Adjust was recently named App Growth Awards’ MMP of the Year, a testament to the satisfaction we provide the 135,000+ apps that utilize our measurement platform. But we’ll stop writing and let our clients speak for themselves about how we help them go beyond mobile measurement into new and upcoming channels.

Take Two successfully leveraged Adjust's robust GPG integration to measure their most important gaming campaigns.

Robert Zhao

Analytics and Marketing, Take Two Interactive Software, Inc

Magic Tavern, a partner studio of AppLovin, used Adjust to tackle CTV advertising to hit the top most downloaded game list in 142 countries.

Jasmine Cao

Growth Manager, AppLovin

For further proof, check out the Why Adjust page to learn the reasons Adjust is leagues above our competitors. And, if you’re ready to speak with an expert about how Adjust can help grow your gaming app across platforms, request your demo now!

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