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Ryu Games' Nick Contino on the mobile transformation of esports

Contino explore the impact of mobile games and technology on the world of esports

Ryu Games' Nick Contino on the mobile transformation of esports

Esports is on a tremendous growth trajectory, exceeding $1.1 billion in 2020, due to increased viewership, awareness and platforms offering live coverage. At the same time, the esports ecosystem still relies on a select number of game franchises, like League of Legends, Call of Duty, Counter-Strike and Overwatch, which are largely on console and PC.

Although traditional esports operators have been unsure how to approach mobile esports, there's an increasing number of mobile game developers entering the esports market, which is silently reshaping the esports demographic.

At Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #7, Ryu Games business development lead Nick Contino will speak about the types of players embracing mobile esports, the game mechanics and business models that work best, and share insights on player behaviours and engagement in mobile esports games and tournaments.

The PocketGamer.biz team spoke to Contino to find out more about Ryu Games and the ways in which it believes that mobile games are disrupting the esports sector.

PocketGamer.biz: Can you tell us more about Ryu Games and your role within the company?

Nick Contino: Ryu was formerly a crypto company supporting non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that pivoted off of blockchain into real-money gaming. The company has developed a high-end mobile gaming software development kit (SDK). Ryu values user experience above all and focuses on a small catalogue of excellent games,

I am the business development lead at Ryu Games, I am responsible for ensuring top-quality games are made by our partners and published by high profile publishing partners.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in videogames?

I love video games! Simple as that.

What advice would you give to someone interested in a career in games?

Tap your network and don't be afraid to kick down the door!

It's the newest and most lucrative frontier in gaming right now.
Nick Contino

What changes has the industry seen in the last 12 months?

The iOS identifier for advertisers (IDFA) change comes to mind. Advertising to iOS users is forever changed, forcing a lot of publishers to completely rethink their approach to user acquisition (UA).

What changes can we expect to see in the global games market in the year ahead?

In the next year, the hypercasual mobile gaming audience will start to be considered in the esports demographic. Mobile cash gaming will also gain wider acceptance socially, and at least one real money game will reach number one on the App Store.

How is the games industry changing?

Mobile esports has grown massively just in the last few years! It's the newest and most lucrative frontier in gaming right now.

What are you most looking forward to at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #7?

I'm excited to learn and connect with others in the industry!

To keep up to date with all of our coverage, check out the roundups here. There's still time to sign up - to find out more and book a ticket, head to the website.


Managing Editor

Brian has been working in the games industry since the mid-1990s, when he joined the legendary studio DMA Design, as a writer on the original Grand Theft Auto. Since then he's worked with major publishers, founded his own digital agency, helped numerous startups with PR, marketing, communications, narrative design, branding and making money.

Back in 2004 Brian created the Scottish Games Network, the industry body for the country's videogames sector. He also lectures at Napier University on the transformative power of interactive media on the creative industries, is a board member of Creative Edinburgh, and helps to organise games, tech and creative industries events.

In his spare time he plays videogames and is usually, proudly, at least one generation behind the cutting edge consoles.

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