Frontline Marketing

How Integrating ESports To Mobile Games Is Paying Dividends For Developers

By | October 7, 2016 |

When you think of eSports, games like Call of Duty or League of Legends probably come to mind, but what about mobile bowling? Skillz is a company that allows any mobile game developer to integrate competition into its business model, allowing gamers to compete for real money at any skill level. With eSports on the rise and poised to reach $493 million in 2016, non-traditional brands are encouraging competition among their communities and reaching that lucrative gamer market.

Can you be the world champion in crushing candy? Turns out that casual gamers are really into competition. In a report released Thursday, Skillz announced that its developer partners are generating $0.92 in average revenue per daily active user (ARPDAU), which is over eight times the industry average of $0.11. The ARPDAU of top games using the Skillz platform is as high as $1.59, the company reports.

You can be an eSports champion in shooting bubbles, and that’s great news for developer Ilyon Dynamics. “From a developer standpoint, we’ve seen that implementing eSports tournaments is one of the most powerful tools for increasing engagement, retention and revenue,” said Yonatan Erez, CEO and founder of Ilyon Dynamics (Bubble Shooter).

Using the Skillz platform, Erez reports an increase in day-one user retention by 21 percent and day 30 retention by 19 percent, which has led to a “thriving and immersed community.”

iStock_smartphones_mobile-e1463570598820In addition to revenue, Skillz also reports that adding eSports to an app results in longer time spend in-game. Skillz players spend an average of 58 minutes a day competing in tournaments, the company said, adding that this figure is nearly double the 33-minute casual mobile gaming industry average.

“eSports are often associated with first-person shooters and multiplayer online battle arenas, but the industry is evolving beyond its initial genres,” said Andrew Paradise, CEO and founder of Skillz. “We built Skillz to bring eSports to the 2.1 billion mobile gamers worldwide, and enable all developers to create sustainable businesses while providing players with more meaningful competitions. Multiplayer competitions are the next evolution of mobile gaming, and seeing our game developer partners reach new heights using Skillz technology validates the power of mobile eSports to build the future of gaming.”

So, what makes a game fun to play competitively? “There are three key elements that make an eSport: multiplayer, tournaments and streaming,” Skillz told [a]listdaily. “Virtually any game genre could work well with an added eSports element, or some combination of the three.”

Adding eSports to a mobile game is a proven method that’s growing in popularity worldwide. Over Fourth of July weekend, Tencent created a tournament for Clash Royale that resulted in more than one million additional game downloads and more than $1.5 million in additional revenue.

While this was a temporary tournament, Skillz offers mobile eSports year-round and is poised to become a $4 billion business by 2018.