It's no secret eSports is set to become a billion dollar industry within the next few years. The top hardcore gamers are rising up to become celebrities in their own right and battling it out in packed stadiums for million dollar bounties. The exciting news is mobile gaming is quickly following suite, which will allow the casual mobile gamer to compete against other people around the world for real money prize pools.
It is expected that the eSports industry will achieve $493 million in revenues for 2016. A big part of that revenue has come from mobile game play. In 2012, a San Francisco based company called Skillz introduced their competitition platform which allows mobile gamers to compete against each other not just for the highest score but for real money prizes too. The company has been seeing a lot of growth with more and more publishers signing up with them to incorporate their tournament system into their mobile game titles.
Currently there are more than 2.1 billion people who play mobile games daily, which makes it the most popular gaming platform since the history of gaming. Companies like Skillz have successfully been able to exploit that opportunity with over $50 million in prizes paid out since they were founded a few years ago.
So what makes this different from gambling on your phone? For one, all the games must meet strict criteria. They must all be 100% skill based games, which means there are no elements of chance or luck. The playing fields also have to be equal. In a car racing game for example, all competitors will have to have the same car and race on the same track. Players will also need to be ranked in terms of their skill level and compete fairly against players of similar skill. The comparison can be made to more mainstream sports such as boxing or marathons. In boxing two fighters of equal weight and skill level fight against each other for a cash prize and title. These are the fundamental principles upon which eSports were founded.
A popular mobile eSports title called Strike! Real Money Bowling from Touch Mechanic lets people compete in a virtual bowling alley, with thousands of tournaments being played daily. Prizes are rewarded in both virtual currency as well as real money. Other popular titles include a Soda Can Strike , and Quezztion Real Money Trivia.
So what will the future hold for this new generation of gamer? Only time will tell but with smartphone technology constantly advancing, we will always be anticipating new surprises.