Glu Mobile, the freemium developer behind such popular gaming franchises as Gun Bros. and Frontline Commando, has announced a partnership today with Skillz to bring real-money betting and gambling to their mobile games for U.S. players going forward. The first game to go live with the Skillz-powered platform of cash tournaments will be Deer Hunter Reloaded on Android devices. This continues the growing trend in our industry of game developers dipping their feet into the gambling waters.
In the official press release of the announcement, CEO of Glu Mobile Niccolo de Masi expressed the company’s excitement over adding another cash component to their mobile games, remarking “The Skillz tournament platform allows us to reach a significant number of U.S. gamers interested in competing for cash prizes in their favorite skill-based Glu games.” De Masi went on to say, “We look forward to offering an entirely new multiplayer experience to our audience in the U.S.; an experience that we anticipate will improve user engagement, retention, and monetization.”
These cash tournaments will be made available for all players over the age of 18, in 37 of the U.S. states and the District of Columbia, while players can also participate in similar, but free tournaments in all 50 states. There is no word yet on what other Glu Mobile games will begin to feature these real-money payout competitions, or if games on iOS will eventually come into play. Of course, one thing that will be interesting to see unfold is how the advent of in-app purchases will come into play for these real-money tournaments.
After all, many freemium developers (Glu Mobile included) are often criticized for the allowance of their players to pay for more powerful weapons and clear gameplay advantages. With real money on the line now, these same tactics will have to be completely reworked, or else developers will risk having some very angry gamblers on their hands.
So what do you think about this shift towards real-money betting and cash tournaments in mobile games? Would you ever bet your last paycheck on your Gun Bros. skills one day?