By Barry Janoff
July 19, 2016: Claiming more than 10 million monthly players and 200 million downloads, Lima Sky is prepping to bring its Doodle Jump game to the world of eSports.
Lima Sky said that Skillz, one of the leaders in mobile eSports, would be the official technology partner for the launch.
The Skillz Tournament Management System would be used to "organize, officiate and broadcast both player and brand-sponsored tournaments, along with multi-thousand person physical and virtual events."
"There are three key elements for a game to become a sport: players, leagues and spectators." Andrew Paradise, CEO for San Francisco-based Skillz, said in a statement. "Doodle Jump already has hundreds of millions of players and a ravenous fan base. With Skillz, it will now have organized, broadcasted tournaments and competitive leagues to transform it into a full-fledged eSport."
The move is not without precedent or motivation.
There currently are 188 million people who watch eSports, with total eSports viewing hours expected to reach 6.6 billion by 2018, according to such industry research, consulting and analysis companies as NewZoo and SuperData.
The industry is on pace to surpass $9 billion in revenue by 2017.
Among the major media companies that have invested time, money and resources into eSports and/or eSports leagues are Turner-WME | IMG, ESPN, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo!, EA and Activision-Blizzard.
ESPN this past Sunday devoted some 18 hours to eSports coverage, which culminated with the Street Fighter V EVO World Championship final live from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Non-endemic brands aligned with eSports include Coca-Cola, American Express, Nissan, Arby's, Credit Karma and Buffalo Wild Wings.
"The explosive growth of eSports and the on-going convergence of games and video provides the biggest opportunity for the games industry since the launch of the iPhone in 2007," Peter Warman, CEO for San Francisco-based NewZoo said in a statement when the NewZoo 2016 Global eSports Marketing Report was released earlier this year.
Doodle Jump, which was released more than seven years ago, currently has more than 10 million monthly players, which Lima Sky said is "roughly equivalent to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, one of the most popular eSports of all time."
Matt Turetzkym COO for Lima Sky, compared the anticipated Doodle Jump eSports league to Riot Games unveiling its League of Legends eSports League, which has gone on to become a driving force in the category.
"When League of Legends announced Season One in 2010, it was a seminal moment for eSports," said Turetzkym. "It was the moment when a hugely popular game crossed over into being a sport. That's what we believe we can create here."
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