We want the millions of players who love Skillz games to “Like” the Skillz Facebook Page. Starting this week, we are sharing exclusive match-coded events, special offers, and the latest news about Skillz games, prizes and promotions on Facebook. Visit us on Facebook to learn more!
Saturday 5/9 at 10am through Sunday, 05/10 at 10pm PDT, Skillz will donate 100% of proceeds from Extra Life branded mobile game tournaments to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® COVID-19 Impact Fund to ensure 170 children’s hospitals across North America have the resources to care for our most vulnerable kids.
Visit games.skillz.com to find your new favorite mobile game. In select games, watch a short Extra Life clip to get a Free Entry. Enter 5 times this weekend to earn a Skillz-branded fidget spinner!
Skillz games featuring Extra Life “G4G COVID Impact Fund” tournaments this weekend include 21 Blitz, Big Run Solitaire, Blackout Blitz, Block Blitz, Bubble Cube 2, Bubble Shooter Arena, Bubble Shooter Tournaments, CandyPrize, Cube Cube, Diamond Strike, Dominoes Gold, Jewel Blitz, Pro Pool – Ultimate 8 Ball, Solitaire Cube, Solitaire Tour, Spider Solitaire Cube, and Strike! Bowling.
Skillz and Extra Life collaborated in April by inviting players around the world to compete with Extra Life’s network of celebrity streamers in Skillz mobile games.
Extra Life brings together thousands of gamers worldwide to support local children’s hospitals. The organization has raised over $70 million since 2008, helping fund over 32 million treatments each year addressing trauma, diabetes, cancer, and more.
Skillz is transforming the way modern charities and nonprofits engage with its donors, enabling anyone with a mobile device to donate to great causes by playing games. Skillz partners with prominent nonprofits including the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen, and the American Red Cross to mobilize its mobile games platform and 30 million registered players worldwide to raise funds for important causes.
Footer: *FREE ENTRY is available in select games only. FREE ENTRY unlock only works once per game, and paid entry is available thereafter. Events may not appear in-app for several hours following game installation. 100% of the net proceeds of this event will be donated. Net proceeds are calculated Entry Fees, less prizes and tournament administration fees. A minimum of 25% of total tournament entry fees collected will be donated. Prizes may vary in select games. Prizes will be ordered within 2 weeks of the event ending. Due to the current global crisis, some prizes may take longer to arrive than usual. Participation prizes may take 8 weeks or longer to receive.
Having the opportunity to play games throughout the day is one of the many benefits of working at Skillz. Whether we’re in our offices or working remotely, playing games helps our team remain in touch with our product, stay engaged, and keep our creativity flowing.
Many of us enjoy games both in and out of work. Skillzians engage with our core product on a daily basis, which ensures we understand how to best optimize every aspect of the platform we’re building. Employees are even recognized during our all-hands meetings each week for winning internal employee competitions.
The games we play aren’t just for entertainment or testing purposes, however. Video games have also been shown to improve creativity. As a company transforming the face of digital entertainment, thinking out of the box is a daily routine for us – something that games can help us do better. Gamifying problems and processes have also been shown to help overcome challenges, helping us be more productive. By engaging with games daily, we’re helping our minds build new and unique solutions to any obstacles we encounter.
Collaborative games have also been shown to improve office productivity and cross-functional capabilities. Skillz fosters a company culture that encourages employees to enjoy games together both during and after work. Skillzians often connect by playing video games like “Super Smash Brothers” and “Mario Kart” during lunch breaks, board games at weekly game nights, and an even wider variety of games through platforms like Discord once the workday is over.
Playing games regularly helps us further the core Skillz mission of making gaming better by improving both our teamwork and overall productivity. In the current environment that requires many of us to work remotely, it’s also a powerful tool to help employees stay connected and engaged with both our product and one another.
Our week-long collaboration, running April 3-9, will invite players from around the world to engage in mobile esports competitions with Extra Life’s network of streamers. Live-streamed tournaments kick off today hosted by video game streaming stars Greenskull, Apocalypto_12 (Tyler), TheOnlyRyann, DataDave, OMGChad, and KungFuFruitCup.
Over 10 million kids are admitted to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals every year, and the funds raised by Skillz and Extra Life will help much-needed treatment and support. To participate, players can visit skillz.com to download games like Cube Cube, Bubble Shooter Arena, and CandyPrize, and view the stream on Twitch.
Extra Life brings together thousands of gamers worldwide to support local children’s hospitals. The organization has raised over $70 million since 2008, helping fund over 32 million treatments each year addressing trauma, diabetes, cancer, and more.
Skillz partners with prominent nonprofits including the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen, and the American Red Cross to mobilize its mobile games platform and 30 million registered players worldwide to raise funds for important causes. Last weekend (March 28-29, 2020), Skillz raised nearly $40,000 through its games to help the American Red Cross alleviate critical blood shortages caused by COVID-19.
Announcing the Skillz Game Developer Challenge! The winner will receive $25,000 in user acquisition budget and a GDC 2021 Package! If you want to cruise into GDC 2021 in style, then all you need to do is launch your game on the Skillz Developer Console and submit to an App Store by March 31st. Any game that launches by March 31st automatically enters the competition and receives a customized game review and qualifies to receive additional Skillz design consultation services and a test user acquisition budget. Enter NOW.
Life is Good Playmakers and Skillz Host Charitable Competitions in Skillz Games March 7-8, Rewarding Players with Prizes and Discounts
Life is Good Playmakers, the charitable arm of the Life is Good Company, and mobile esports platform Skillz Inc. are hosting mobile games tournaments March 7-8 to raise funds to help children overcome early childhood trauma.
Tournament participants will be able to win Life is Good gear including t-shirts, caps, bags, and other great Life is Good prizes while playing for a great cause. The Life is Good Playmakers organization supports childcare professionals like teachers, nurses, and social workers, who create life-changing relationships and environments where kids can heal, learn, and grow.
Hundreds of prizes will be awarded during the weekend of competitions across Skillz popular mobile game titles and every participant will also earn a Life is Good discount for taking part. Visit games.skillz.com to download and participate in Skillz-enabled mobile games. Skillz will donate 100% of the proceeds from every Life Is Good tournament to support Playmakers mission of harnessing the power of optimism to help kids heal.
“Optimism is the single most important tool that a child can have in order to overcome adversity and lead a healthy, fulfilling and meaningful life,” says Steve Gross, Founder and Chief Playmaker of the Life is Good Playmakers. “We support the frontline professionals that dedicate their lives to building healing, life-changing relationships with our nation’s most vulnerable children and are so grateful that through the convenience and fun of mobile gaming, so many people will be able to help ensure that life is good for all kids.
“Skillz mobile tournaments can help partners like Playmakers launch digital campaigns that reach a younger demographic and engage donors in fun, fair, and meaningful competitions,” said Andrew Paradise, Founder and CEO of Skillz.
The Life is Good Playmakers provide workshops, tools, and coaching to over 15,000 childcare professionals across the United States and Haiti. With an optimistic approach to trauma-informed care, Playmakers help over 1,000,000 children each year overcome childhood trauma associated with poverty, violence, and illness.
Skillz is changing the way modern philanthropies engage donors by raising funds for charities through mobile games tournaments available to anyone, anywhere with an iOS or Android device. Skillz has previously leveraged its platform to help charitable organizations like the American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, World Wildlife Fund, and NFL Hall of Famers Steve Young and Jerry Rice’s 8 to 80 Zone reach a younger mobile-first demographic through digital fundraisers that reach new donors through fun, fair, and meaningful competition.
By David Walls, CEO and Founder of Funkitron
At Funkitron, we strive to push the boundaries of creative, purposeful design – it’s what drives every aspect of our development process and has allowed us to create games that players love. Our team has over 30 years of experience in game design, yet every new title we develop is a learning experience full of interesting challenges and opportunities.
The Skillz platform enables us to integrate meaningful competition across our game portfolio from our casual bubble shooters to match-three titles. Games powered by Skillz deliver a fun, multiplayer experience that allows players to compete for rewards and real world prizes.
As we developed each title, we didn’t want to simply shoe-horn the Skillz platform into our games. Instead, we carefully considered how we could provide players with an optimal, competitive experience.
Challenge Players, Challenge Yourself
It’s vital to align each game element thoughtfully so that it naturally engages players and encourages them to enjoy the excitement of competing. It’s not always easy or apparent, but discovering new ways to challenge players is an art just as much as it’s a science.
Designing a competitive game encourages us to consider some interesting questions. Is the game fair and easily understood by players? What activities should players be rewarded for? Are the mechanics unique and interesting enough to keep players engaged past the first few matches?
Some of our games, like FunkiBlast, merge elements from both bubble shooter and match-3 genres, resulting in a unique title that challenges players in different ways. Titles like TapBurst Challenge feature tap-style, match-and-blast mechanics you won’t find anywhere else. These hybrid games are often some of the most challenging but fun titles to make.
Cascade Challenge is another great example of how we optimized our original title by adding Skillz, which resulted in increased downloads and player engagement. Our newest match-3 title, Candy Prize, is designed from the ground up as a fun, fast, multiplayer experience.
We noticed how players were enjoying the competitive casual style of match three, and it inspired us to take the game to new heights – including a complete artwork redesign and an original candy-themed game that’s sophisticated and appealing. We also built our game’s universe in a real-world environment, deriving inspiration from TV baking shows that I love watching with my daughter. This also led to the creation of our game’s mascot ‘Candy,’ who hosts our game’s matches.
We’re constantly seeking innovative ways to surprise and delight players with our games. Working with the Skillz Developer Relations team and sharing best practices with other studios has been a great experience. We’re excited about what’s next on the horizon and can’t wait to reveal more titles from our pipeline in 2020.
There’s no doubt that the esports landscape is vast and still growing. There are tens of thousands of game developers, various streaming services and platforms, brands and sponsors, and a wide demographic of players and viewers becoming increasingly involved. Thus, competitive gaming is making its way into mainstream entertainment. On top of that, the global esports economy has topped $1 billion in revenue.
In such a lucrative industry that captures the attention of millions of people and that is almost universally accessible, you might imagine that there are tons of esports career opportunities. And if you’re interested or invested in the industry in any way, you’re probably asking yourself “how do I get into esports?” We’ll lay out some of the biggest sectors in the esports space and offer advice on how to get involved.
How to Become a Professional Player
Becoming a professional at anything takes consistent hard work and dedication. If you are passionate about gaming and looking to become a top esports player, these strategies will help get you started:
- Pick a genre: Discover which type of games you enjoy most and choose a genre that best highlights your skills as a player. Some popular game types are real time strategies (RTS), multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBA), first-person shooters (FPS), card games, and fighting games.
- Pick a platform: Find the most suitable gaming platform for your chosen game. Consider your skillset, as well as your budget. Many games can be played cross-platform. The main platforms are PC, console, and mobile.
- Conscious practice: Similar to traditional sports athletes, becoming a professional gamer requires a lot of practice. Make sure to practice and study players of a higher skill-level, along with studying popular techniques — this will develop your skills over time.
- Find a team and take part in tournaments: For many popular esports, like League of Legends and Clash Royale, you need to find team members. Play regularly with a team, become accustomed to their play style, and establish rapport. Find gaming leagues/tournaments for your team to participate in. If you are a student at a school with an esports program, join the organization to kickstart your career and make lasting connections.
- Increase your online presence: Build your online reputation via social media, YouTube videos, and blogs. Make sure to network with other players too!
How to Get into Game Development
If you want to develop your own game and make it competitive, research the gaming industry, look at content produced by other game developers, and gather knowledge on the skills/capital required to create a game. Remember that esports include genres of all types across PC, console, and mobile. Identify your target audience and the platform that will work best for the game you want to develop.
To be considered an esport, your game must be skill-based, as this provides players with the opportunity to improve over time and compete against other real competitors. Provide players the opportunity to compete against others of equal skill, give them the option to enter match types of their preference, and make games fair and free of cheating/fraud.
Ensure that your game is fun and engaging. Follow the top tips for successful game development, including game ideation, creation of concept, prototype building, coding, and alpha and beta testing. Finally, launch your game and have a method to attract players to your game. Monitor key performance metrics for ongoing success. Always work with passion and excitement to create the best content possible for the world’s 2.6 billion gamers.
How to Get into Esports as a Sponsor/Partner
With million-dollar prize pools, revenues nearing $1 billion, and an ever-growing fan base, the esports industry is grabbing the attention of global brands. Coca-Cola, Mercedes-Benz, ESPN, and many others have been seizing the opportunity esports provide. If you’re non-endemic brand is looking to enter the esports ecosystem, follow these tips:
- Know the industry: Research and learn the esports market as deeply as possible. Studying the overarching themes and nuances of the industry, will not only help you identify your own objectives, but also the audience, their habits, and their needs. Look at brands currently involved in the industry and study their strategies.
- Determine your target market and set goals: Decide how you want to be involved and set clear goals. Do you want to sponsor a league, a player, or a specific game? Are you looking to gain greater product awareness or create a brand halo effect? Make sure you know the type of teams, viewers, and demographic you want to appeal to. Ads must be carefully targeted and engaging.
- Think about your impact: Integrate your brand in a way that enhances the gaming experience. Find the best ways to engage the esports community and recognize your opportunity to play an important role in the future of gaming. Remember that esports players, viewers, and other stakeholders are open and welcoming to sponsors, as long as the relationship is mutually beneficial and valuable.
In short, dedicate the time and effort into learning the esports industry, show your value to the community, and stay committed. If you approach sponsorships/partnerships with care and authenticity, you can enjoy the long-term benefits of positive brand equity.
How to Get Hired by an Esports Publisher
If you’re interested in pursuing a professional career at an esports publishing company, treat it like any other job search/application process. Hone your skills in the areas that show your core strengths and speak to your past work experience. Keep your resume and LinkedIn profile updated, utilize your professional network for opportunities, and search sites like HitmarkerJobs.com for open positions.
Get involved in esports in your community. Attend local tournaments and events to show your interest in the industry and introduce yourself to key figures. Even if you have never worked for an esports company, your investment in learning about the marketplace will serve you well when it comes time to interview.
During the interview process, express your excitement about esports and exemplify how you will provide value to the company. Make it clear that you have done your research on the employer and the larger gaming industry. Whether you’re looking for a marketing job, a technical career, a social media position, or something else, the esports space is teeming with opportunities.
If you’d like to get into the exciting world of esports, Skillz is hiring across all departments. Check out our careers page and apply.
In the world of mobile gaming, Bubble Shooter is an incredibly popular genre. In a crowded, competitive mobile gaming market, what do you need to know about creating and launching a Bubble Shooter? We’ll discuss some of the most pertinent information on this highly-engaging sub-genre.
Bubble Shooter History
Before we get into the creation of a Bubble Shooter game, we’d like to share a brief history of the genre. Bubble Shooters are based on the “Puzzle Bobble” arcade game released by Taito in 1994. The first Bubble Shooter game, created in 2002, was ported to iOS in 2010 and Android in 2012. With the rise of the mobile phone and highly accessible casual gaming, Bubble Shooter games have grown in popularity and success. The object of the game is simple and engaging: clear the playing field by forming groups of three or more same-colored bubbles.
Why is the Genre Successful?
Considering the history of Bubble Shooters, we can conclude that the genre has staying power. It was popular in 1994 as an arcade game, and it has only grown more successful since. Bubble Shooters are uncomplicated, yet exciting puzzle games. Players must strategize and think, but it is relatively easy to learn the game and improve technique.
Another key reason that Bubble Shooter games are so popular is that the gameplay is very accessible to a large player audience. As casual games require minimum previous gaming experience and are relatively easy-to-learn, the number of players across a diverse player demographics are eager to discover this type of content. With Bubble-Shooter’s falling squarely in the casual genre, there is solid player demand for new and exciting content.
Creating a Bubble Shooter
There are tons of games in the Bubble Shooter sub-genre in the iOS App Store. In this crowded market, you’ll need to create a crisp-looking game to make it successful. First, ensure that your target audience is correct. While gaming has historically appealed to largely male and young generations, hyper-casual mobile games tend to attract middle-aged women. Confirm that creative and messaging are correct for your audience in order to have a solid Install to Deposit ratio.
Remember that a great game is easy to learn, but difficult to master. Make the gameplay engaging and simple, yet challenging enough so that the player must learn and improve over time. In designing your Bubble Shooter game, ensure visual clarity for the player. Use high-contrast color combinations and consider giving each color of an item a distinct texture or shape.
Spend time polishing the core game loop, using visuals and sound effects to celebrate winning moments. This will help maximize the likelihood of repeat play. Offer power-ups, increase the value of large matches, or give players a creative objective to create more game depth.
All of these things considered, your Bubble Shooter game needs to be unique. Ask yourself: What will set my game apart in this content-flooded genre? What will motivate players to keep coming back?
Bubble Shooters on the Skillz Platform
One way to set your Bubble Shooter game apart from the rest is to make the game competitive. With the Skillz platform, you can position your game on a competitive tournament system where users play against others of equal skill.
Bubble Shooters work well on the Skillz platform. If you’re interested in seeing how Skillz can help you launch and monetize your mobile game, then check out our Developer Console to download the newest SDK.
Samsung announced the Galaxy S20. The new device starts at $999 and has three different variations, including the S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra. (TechCrunch)
Samsung also released the Galaxy Z Flip, a foldable phone with a 6.7-inch OLED display. The phone shrinks into a small square when folded and costs $1,380. (The Verge)
Google announced Emoji Kitchen, an update to Android devices that allows users to mix and match emojis. The update lets you blend any two emojis, creating an expressive new way to communicate. (Fast Company)
Microsoft launched its game streaming service, Project xCloud, on iOS devices. The feature previously debuted to customers in the U.S., UK, and Canada. (PocketGamer.biz)
Google is expanding ways to improve news content and partnerships. This improvement could include paying publishers to include their content in a news product. (The Verge)
Game livestream viewership reached nearly 500 million viewing hours last month. This number is up 17% from January 2019. (VentureBeat)
Nintendo and the Pokémon Company launched “Pokémon Home,” a new cloud gaming service. The service will allow users to manage all their Pokémon across mobile devices and the Switch via an app. (CNET)
Glu Mobile announced that its new title, “Disney Sorcerer’s Arena,” is available for pre-registration. The game will feature classic Disney and Pixar characters in arena-style battle. (VentureBeat)
Rovio soft-launched “Angry Birds Tennis” in the U.S. and Mexico. The free-to-play title features different game modes and new characters in player-versus-player competition. (PocketGamer.biz)
Google announced five new games for its Stadia streaming service. The new games are “Panzer Dragoon: Remake,” “Serious Sam Collection,” “Lost Words: Beyond the Page,” “Stacks On Stacks (On Stacks),” and “Spitlings.” (Engadget)
Atari acquired Wonder, a mobile gaming and entertainment platform for Android devices. The acquisition will help Atari use WonderOS to bring cross-platform functionality to Atari game consoles. (VentureBeat)
Double Loop Games, founded by former Kongregate CEO Emily Greer and former WB Games executive Shelby Moledina, raised $2.5 million in funding. The studio aims to create games for a more casual audience. (GameDaily.biz)
Gillette and Twitch formed the Gillette Gaming Alliance, a team of five streamers. The alliance brings together content creators on Twitch with Gillette’s brand to bring new content to fans. (VentureBeat)
Nerd Street Gamers is building the largest public esports arena on the West Coast. The 26,000 square foot arena is set to be built in Los Angeles. (The LA Times)
IronSource launched a new game studio called Supersonic Games. The studio plans to publish and develop new ad-based games. (VentureBeat)