A bid against the billion-dollar cash tournament giant
Ryu Games, a San Francisco-based startup in the current 500 Startups batch, is launching a mobile gaming cash tournament SDK to compete with industry leader Skillz. Over 15 games across many genres from world class developers are launching with Ryu’s SDK.
The SDK, which monetizes hyper casual mobile games with cash tournaments instead of in-game ads, offers users an elevated mobile gaming experience and the ability to win real money from playing in asynchronous tournaments.
Indie studios like Spaceloom have revolutionized their business model by integrating cash tournament SDKs. CEO Axel Svensson reports that “monetizing with cash tournaments has significantly improved the way our games generate revenue. We no longer need hundreds of thousands of users to generate ad-revenue. The cash tournament model saves us development time and makes it easier for an indie studio to succeed in a market dominated by the big guys.”
Ryu’s SDK differentiates itself from Skillz’ platform by offering robust social functionality including in-game chat, detailed match history, and an easy invitation feature. The platform also includes leaderboard events where users can compete for cash prizes against many users at once, as well as a cross-promotion network allowing users to hop to other games in the Ryu catalogue.
“Games have always been inherently social,” says Ryu CEO Ross Krasner. “Especially in the esports competitive category, giving our players new ways to chat and interact is at the core of what we do differently.”
Skillz, the current industry leader in mobile cash tournament gaming, was recently valued at $3.5 billion and boasts a large catalogue with hit games like Blackout Blitz and Solitaire Cube.
“The growth of this space has been incredibly exciting to watch, and we’re thrilled to be a part of this fast-growing sector,” says Krasner. “It’s rewarding to partner and grow with a cohort of game developers from around the globe.”
Ryu’s first hit was Cash Blocks VS, which has garnered praise for smooth mechanics and well-paced gameplay. Ryu also found success in Color Hit VS, a game released with partner Spaceloom. Ryu seeks to scale several more titles by the end of 2020.