Skillz (company)

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Skillz
TypeMobile gaming
Launch dateMarch 2012
PlatformiOS and Android
StatusActive
Websiteskillz.com

Skillz is an online mobile multiplayer competition platform that is integrated into several iOS and Android games. Players can compete in cash competitions against other players across the world.

History[edit]

Skillz was founded by Andrew Paradise and Casey Chafkin. Skillz has offices in San Francisco and Boston.

In April 2013, Skillz launched its platform on Android with ten titles and ten game studio partners.[1] In its first two weeks, Skillz surpassed one million downloads and 100,000 real-money gaming registrations.[2] In May 2014, Skillz announced the availability of its iOS SDK and reported that it has partnered with more than 300 game studios and has launched more than 150 games on the App Store.[3]

In July 2016, Skillz announced a partnership with Lima Sky, creators of Doodle Jump, to develop a tournament-playable version of the game.[4] Later on, Skillz also announced partnerships with Color Switch,[5] and Beeline Interactive, subsidiary of Capcom, to bring the fighting game Street Fighter to its platform.[6]

In December 2016, Skillz announced that it had run over 100 million eSports tournaments total,[7] in addition to the milestone of awarding over $60 million in total eSports prizes, and awarding over $5 million in cash prizes to players every month.[7] In the same month, Skillz announced that was currently partnered with over 3,000 mobile game developers, helping them to improve the player experience through fair, fun competition.[7]

In November 2017, the company announced its $25 million Series C funding round lead by Liberty Global and Telstra, with support from Sacramento Kings co-owner Andy Miller, Bridge Bank and existing investors Accomplice and Wildcat Capital.[8] This brings Skillz to a total of $53 million in funding from venture capitalists as well as the owners of the New England Patriots, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Mets, and Sacramento Kings.[9][10]

Product[edit]

Skillz provides an SDK for mobile games developers that allows users to compete in casual competitions, as well as tournaments, for real money.[11] By enabling cash competitions in mobile games, Skillz is the first company to provide a cash competition SDK.[12]

In November 2016, Skillz announced the launch of brand-sponsored tournaments. Brands can sponsor and host mobile eSports tournaments for any game titles on the Skillz platform.[13]

In September 2017, Skillz launched the eSports ticker, which is the first ESPN-style information ticker for eSports.[14] The ticker takes real-time data and customizes information for each streamer, to provide statistical data to completing viewing and spectating eSports.[15]

In November 2017, Skillz introduced a cross-platform, cross-app chat system that enables iOS and Android users to communicate between Skillz-intergraded games.[16] The chat system enables text messaging for players via private messages and group chats.[17]

Availability[edit]

Skillz provides both virtual currency and cash tournaments worldwide. In the United States, Skillz operates cash competitions in 37 states, and virtual currency competitions nationwide.[18][12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Skillz enables wagers on games of skill". bizjournals.com. Apr 30, 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  2. ^ "Skillz rides skill-based real money gaming to pass 1M downloads in its first two weeks". pando.com. May 23, 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  3. ^ "Skillz lets game players win real money". SFGATE. Hearst Communications. May 28, 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  4. ^ Kolodny, Lora. "Casual games go pro as Doodle Jump announces plans for an e-sports league with Skillz". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-02-16.
  5. ^ "Color Switch kicks off esports competitions in partnership with Skillz | VentureBeat". venturebeat.com. Retrieved 2018-02-16.
  6. ^ CNBC.com, Chris Morris, special to (2017-05-31). "'Street Fighter' moves into the mobile eSports market for gamers". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-02-16.
  7. ^ a b c "Skillz Reaches 100 Million Total Mobile eSports Tournaments Hosted". Skillz. Retrieved January 24, 2017 – via PRNewswire.
  8. ^ "Skillz raises $25 million for mobile esports platform | VentureBeat". venturebeat.com. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  9. ^ Heitner, Darren. "The Kraft Group And Marc Lasry Invest In eSports". Forbes. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  10. ^ Heitner, Darren. "The Kraft Group And Marc Lasry Invest In eSports". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  11. ^ "Skillz SDK supports real money gaming". develop-online.net. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Skillz brings real-money gaming to the U.S". insidemobileapps.com. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  13. ^ Kolodny, Lora. "Skillz wins two new patents, is now helping brands sponsor e-sports tournaments". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  14. ^ Garcia, Bob. "First ESPN-Style Ticker Arrives for Esports Streaming". www.americascardroom.eu. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  15. ^ "Ticker For Esports Gives Fans More Of A SportsCenter-Like Experience". SportTechie. 2017-09-20. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  16. ^ "Skillz Launches Multi-App Chat Technology". SportTechie. 2017-11-21. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  17. ^ "Skillz brings cross-game, cross-platform chat system to 12 million users on its service". pocketgamer.biz. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  18. ^ "The Booming Business of Cash Prize Gaming". inc.com. Retrieved 30 May 2014.