Play games, win for real: Tiv CEO Jed Strong outlines the business and benefits of rewarded gaming

Gamers earn from playing the games they love and developers get a new audience and opportunities. What's not to like?

Play games, win for real: Tiv CEO Jed Strong outlines the business and benefits of rewarded gaming

Gaming is the entertainment industry’s biggest sector, with new opportunities opening up all the time. One such opportunity is the advent of rewarded gaming - letting players earn rewards ranging from in-game items, branded content, or gift cards based on their experience in-game.

Among these rewarded gaming platforms is Tiv, which aims to simplify this process by focusing not on in-game challenges, but by rewarding players for spending time playing games. We spoke to the company’s co-founder and CEO Jed Strong about Tiv’s platform, and the potential it offers for gamers and game makers alike. Tell us about Tiv and your work there

Jed Strong: I’m the co-founder and CEO of Tiv. I’m pretty hands on, diving into everything from product to marketing to community and everywhere in between. But I’m not alone in this. I’ve got two great co-founders - our President, JP Pillat, and CTO, Will Danford - as well as Shivum Agrawal, who’s been doing some amazing stuff as our product lead. They put me in position to focus on how we improve our platform for the gaming community and offer new ways for game publishers, studios and brands looking to connect with them.

How does Tiv's rewarded gaming work?

To-date, most rewards systems offered by the gaming industry - whether from platforms or individual publishers and studios - have been focused on achievement. That’s not wrong per se, but let’s recognise that gaming today is increasingly less about competition and more about the social experience for the majority of players. That means you need a more inclusive and accessible measure to push players down the funnel and get them engaging with core gameplay loops. To us, that’s time. We feel so strongly about this that we named the company after it - Tiv stands for “Time is Valuable.”

We bring this to life through our platform, where we offer a variety of gaming quests of our own and from partners. You won’t be surprised to learn that all of our quests are time-based! For PC and console game publishers and studios, this most frequently takes the shape of one hour or multi-hour quests. For mobile games, we’re more focused on minutes.

To help paint the picture: our quests can be as simple as “Dropping Hot: Play 1 Hour of Apex Legends this weekend.” Our users see this in our app - 80% of our daily active users check Tiv before their evening game sessions - and then they complete that quest on the platform of their choice. Through our integrations with Xbox, PlayStation and Steam, we can confirm when a user completes the quest. They’re then able to hop back into our app to claim their reward. Right now, we offer Tiv Points, which can be redeemed in our store for a variety of gift cards from game platforms, retailers and even for things like food delivery. Going forward, you can expect us to offer in-game content, currencies and even access to exclusive events or merch.

What trends have you noticed from Tiv’s users so far?

What we’re hearing from gamers is that they love the simplicity of the experience. They don’t feel like they’re jumping through manufactured hoops. And for our partners, what our data shows is that we’re driving increases in DAUs and playtime that are equal to the lifts they see from in-game events and new DLC drops. The difference is that our quests are capable of driving more sustained engagement than content. Even one to two weeks after a quest has expired, we frequently see a continued 1.5 - 2x increase in the player base or time spent in-game compared to prior baseline.

In 2023, gamers are truly embracing cross-platform play. We’ve observed that the majority of our users don’t just link one gaming account to Tiv; they’re actively engaging across multiple gaming accounts, e.g. PlayStation and Steam, etc. The era of being exclusively a PC or console gamer seems to be phasing out. While mobile gaming undeniably plays a major role in this shift, our data also shows growing affinity for VR / AR gaming experiences. At Tiv, our ambition is to be the hub for a gamer’s passion and their gaming identity. To make this vision a reality, we’re working towards enabling gamers to seamlessly connect all their gaming accounts to Tiv. So, anticipate more platform integrations in the upcoming year.

Another trend that really stands out in our data is the willingness of gamers to try new games. Many aren’t just anchoring themselves to one or two titles, which arguably runs counter to current conventional wisdom in gaming. To us, it’s evident that the appetite for diverse gaming experiences is strong - but that discovery remains a huge problem. The gaming industry is bursting with phenomenal titles, but connecting those games with the players who’ll love them most really hasn’t been solved in any meaningful way. It’s akin to finding a needle in a haystack sometimes.

How do you think the games industry is evolving? What's coming next?

As for what’s next: I expect we’ll continue to see the boundaries between gamer and creator blur even more. The power to modify and design in-game experiences is already transitioning from a niche activity to a mainstream gaming feature. This means that the industry won’t just be serving players - they’ll also be nurturing the next wave of digital creators. This is an exciting paradigm shift that will shape gaming’s next chapter. Part of Tiv’s role moving forward will be to support these new creators by elevating their content and getting it in front of the right players.

What benefits are there to consumers and game makers from using Tiv?

Tiv is more than just a platform; it’s an ecosystem designed to better align the interests of the gaming community with the gaming industry. Here’s how both benefit from using Tiv.

For gamers, in an era where cross-platform gaming is the norm, Tiv seamlessly unifies a gamer’s experience across PC, console and mobile. Through our mobile app, available on both iOS and Android, we ensure gamers can access their stats, rewards and connections no matter where they are. We liken it to carrying your entire gaming world in your pocket and we reward their loyalty: as they engage with their favourite titles and discover new ones, gamers accumulate rewards, making their time spent playing even more worthwhile.

For game makers, Tiv’s platform provides game makers with new tools to engage and incentivise players - with no dev work required. Through Tiv, publishers and studios can reach players eager to try new titles through Tiv’s millions of touchpoints, retain players by engaging their communities at key moments to sustain growth, and win back churned players when they are most likely to re-engage with their games.

What can we expect next from Tiv?

Gamers can anticipate additional game platform integrations coming soon - we’re focused on solving for what remains a fragmented gaming landscape. You can also expect we’ll heighten personalisation, ensuring every gamer’s experience on Tiv is tailored just for them. Beyond that, we’ll be dialling up our social features to foster strong community connections. Finally, you’ll see a variety of new collaborations, not just with game publishers and studios, but also with brands eager to support the gaming community through our platform.


Staff Writer

Lewis Rees is a journalist, author, and escape room enthusiast based in South Wales. He got his degree in Film and Video from the University of Glamorgan. He's been a gamer all his life.