The year 2018 was a disappointing year for sales of VR hardware, Juniper said, adding that the development of VR content for smartphones would be necessary to increase the level of consumer confidence in the technology across all platforms.
The company predicted that more than 100 million mobile VR devices, including smartphone and standalone headsets, would have access to games around the world by 2023.
This was off the back of 52 million devices accessing such content in 2019.
It said that mobile VR would account for more than half the total VR games by 2023.
Research author Sam Barker said: “Revenues from VR-specific mobile games will exceed US$4.6 billion by 2023. However, average revenue per mobile VR games user will be the lowest of all VR platforms. In response, app developers must mitigate high app abandonment rates by providing engaging and continually-updated content”.
The study forecast that over half the mobile VR games accessed in 2019 would not be monetised due to the difficulty of implementing advertising in VR content without impeding the user experience, adding that app developers would have to leverage in-app purchases to recover this shortfall in potential advertising revenue.
It said that maintaining growth levels of VR hardware sales could only happen if a profitable VR content market was created.
"Juniper has identified 2023 as the year in which VR content revenues, including games, multimedia, gambling and others, will surpass hardware revenues for the first time," the company said.
It recommended that VR headset vendors focus on increasing their VR content libraries through app store partnerships to capitalise on the anticipated growth of VR users.