Interview

2015 in Review: Skillz's Andrew Paradise on why 2016 is the year of mobile eSports

2015 in Review: Skillz's Andrew Paradise on why 2016 is the year of mobile eSports

As 2015 begins to fade into memory, we're taking a look back at the events that have dominated the last 12 months in mobile gaming.

As such, we've asked the industry's great and good to give us their take on the year, as well as predicting the trends that will dominate in 2016.

  • Andrew Paradise is the CEO of US skill-based real-money gaming platform Skillz, which in June announced it was paying out over $500,000 every week to players of games that integrated its competitions.

PocketGamer.biz: What was the most significant news of 2015?

Andrew Paradise: Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts, two of the biggest gaming powerhouses in the world, announced major eSports initiatives.

How did the focus of your business change in 2015?

Our focus has remained the same: build the future of eSports.

This year we achieved incredible success with many of our early indie developers and started working with several of the big game development studios.

What do you predict will be the most important trends in 2016?

We'll see the first mobile eSports titles that achieve true mainstream adoption.
Andrew Paradise
  • More major game studios like EA and Blizzard will launch eSports as core corporate initiatives.
  • The largest eSports event will be second only to the Super Bowl in terms of total viewers.
  • We'll see the first mobile eSports titles that achieve true mainstream adoption.
  • Gaming growth will be explosive, including major adoption of Apple TV, the first mainstream mobile eSports titles, and the first chart topping games for Apple Watch.

What was your favourite mobile game of the year?

There have been so many great mobile games this year.

Here are my top 4:

Kabam's Marvel: Contest of Champions

  • I love Monument Valley's innovative design.
  • Marvel Contest of Champions is also a must-have.
  • Agar.io's multiplayer on mobile is amazing.
  • Although it's not technically a new game, Hearthstone's updates have been great this year. The game has achieved impressive longevity and continues to be really engaging.

What's your New Year's resolution and what resolution would you enforce on the industry?

My resolution is to grow consumer awareness of Skillz and make it a household name.

I think the industry should resolve to move away from ads in the new year. They attack retention and no longer deliver enough monetization to be worthwhile.

You can check out all of our 2015 in Review interviews here.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.

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