IGDA Launches New Partnership with Skillz, Empowering Game Developers to Monetize the $150 Billion Esports Industry

New Venture Unlocks the Skillz Network of 30 Million Players, Connecting 30,000 Game Makers Worldwide to Build Fulfilling and Sustainable Careers

Skillz, the worldwide leader in mobile esports, has joined forces with the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) to empower game developers with new tools to build sustainable businesses by retaining, engaging, and monetizing their content. The collaboration connects 30 million registered players and over 20,000 new game makers from Skillz to the IGDA’s existing network of 10,000 developer chapters and special interest groups. With this new venture, Skillz joins the IGDA’s roster of prominent partners, including Amazon, Microsoft, and Unity, providing additional resources and support services to help game makers become the next Blizzard or Riot-sized game sensation.

“Game makers are the unsung heroes of esports, designing the engaging content that drives a growing multi-billion dollar industry forward,” said Andrew Paradise, CEO and founder of Skillz. “Skillz is the platform that empowers anyone to embrace their inner champion. By giving some of the most talented creators in the world access to the Skillz community and technology platform, the industry’s brightest rising stars can showcase their passions to the world’s 2.6 billion mobile gamers.”

Gaming is becoming the most important mass media market and already employs over 220,000 professionals spanning programmers, producers, artists, writers, analysts, and more. The mobile gaming industry is now 50 percent larger than the global film box office, bolstered by 60 percent of people with smartphones who play at least one mobile game. In the past decade alone, the number of game makers worldwide increased from 32,000 to over 10 million.

“Partnering with Skillz is an incredible opportunity to enable developers from all walks of life and in studios of all sizes to make their mark on the booming esports scene,” said Renee Gittins, Executive Director at the IGDA. “It’s more important than ever to support the thousands of creators working alone or in smaller studios, given the increasing accessibility of game development and resulting competition. We’re working with Skillz to give developers the tools and connections they need to make their games successful.”

The IGDA founded the world’s largest game creation event, the annual Global Game Jam (GGJ), now run by a separate organization. In GGJ 2019, more than 47,000 participants at 860 sites in 113 countries created over 9,000 games in one weekend. Through Sept. 30, developers have another opportunity to create great games and win a grand prize valued at $50,000 through the Skillz Global Game Developer Challenge.

“If you compare game developers to writers, Skillz is the platform enabling someone to be the next Danielle Steel or J.K. Rowling,” said Paradise. “Or if you compare game developers to filmmakers, Skillz is the competition marketplace enabling indie creators to earn an Academy Award.”

The IGDA is the world’s largest nonprofit membership organization serving all individuals who create games, with over 10,000 members that comprise a global network of 150 chapters and special interest groups. The organization promotes public awareness and understanding of the gaming industry, providing resources for students, developers, and studios worldwide. The IGDA and sister charity IGDA Foundation also advance important industry issues like diversity in the workplace and support LGBTQ+, Latinx, women, and other minority developer communities.

About Skillz 
Skillz is the leading mobile esports platform, driving the future of entertainment by accelerating the convergence of sports, video games, media, and mobile. The company works with 20,000+ game developers, leveraging its patented technology to host over 1.5 billion tournaments for 30 million mobile players worldwide. Skillz has earned recognition as one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative CompaniesCNBC’s Disruptor 50Forbes’ Next Billion-Dollar StartupsEntrepreneur Magazine’s 100 Brilliant Companies, and the #1 fastest-growing company in America on the Inc. 5000. The company is based in San Francisco and Portland, and is backed by leading venture capitalists, media companies, and professional sports luminaries. For more information on Skillz-enabled games and implementing mobile eSports competitions, visit www.skillz.com or email launch@skillz.com.

About the International Game Developers Association (IGDA®)
The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) is the world’s largest nonprofit membership organization serving all individuals who create games. The IGDA is a U.S.-based 501©6 non-profit professional association and a global network of collaborative projects and communities of individuals from all fields of game development. The IGDA’s diverse membership encompasses programmers and producers, designers and artists, writers, business people, QA team members, localization experts, and anyone else who participates in the game development process. The mission of the IGDA is to support and empower game developers around the world in achieving fulfilling and sustainable careers. For more information, visit www.igda.org.