(BPT) – You might not realize it, but just about everyone you meet is a gamer, no matter their age. According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), 65% of Americans play video games regularly, and the number of people over 45 who play them is about the same as those under 18.
Mobile games of skill that bring the fun anytime, anywhere are a large factor in that growth. While you may not have heard of skill games, chances are you’ve played a few; games like Chess, Solitaire, Atari Breakout and others that rely on the player’s skills as opposed to chance, all fall into the category. The genre’s popularity is only expected to continue: according to Forbes Business Insights, the skill-based gaming market is expected to grow from $35.61 billion in 2023 to $85.34 billion by 2030.
A major player in the category is WorldWinner. A pioneer in the category with over two decades of experience with skill gaming, WorldWinner is a recognizable and trusted brand in the space. The platform’s parent company, Game Taco, recently announced they are taking on WorldWinner as their consumer brand name. Recently recognized as one of the top players in the skill gaming category by Fortune Business Insights, the company is likely to keep dominating the competition under the WorldWinner name and the leadership of newly appointed CEO Nancy MacIntyre.
Proven results from a driven entrepreneur
Named to the position of CEO in May, MacIntyre has been with the company since 2021. During her time as General Manager, MacIntyre changed the way the company went to market to drive user engagement. Improvements driven by MacIntyre include a major revamp to WorldWinner’s tournament programming, the creation of innovative new games and a new “Rookie Rewards” program for new players. These efforts, among others, helped double WorldWinner’s userbase and triple its amount of entry fees.
MacIntyre was also part of the team who helped execute a partnership with FanDuel, a first-of-its-kind industry collaboration between a skill-gaming and sportsbook/daily fantasy sports company. Together, the companies developed and launched FanDuel Faceoff. The mobile-based skill gaming platform allows players to use their existing FanDuel accounts and wallets to jump right into the action with a whole new portfolio of skill-based games.
“FanDuel partnered with Game Taco (now WorldWinner) over two years ago to extend FanDuel’s offerings to include skill gaming and give our customers an entirely new experience,” said Aaron Champagne, General Manager and Vice President of DFS, Faceoff and Free to Play at FanDuel. “We appreciate our partners at Game Taco’s deep experience in delivering meaningful, innovative game experiences to all segments of consumers; it has been essential to making FanDuel Faceoff a success. The WorldWinner team understands the skill gaming customer and has helped us grow engagement and give our customers even more to enjoy.”
A creative leader for a creative company
MacIntyre is no stranger to innovation or the spotlight, having worked as an executive at globally recognized companies including Hasbro Interactive, Lucasfilm and LeapFrog. She also founded and led Fingerprint, an entertainment company for kids that was eventually acquired by Sandbox Kids. During her tenure, MacIntyre grew the company through inventive, new practices that have since become mainstream.
MacIntyre faced and solved many challenges at Fingerprint, which was initially launched into a crowded app marketplace. To stand out, she created a product experience for children that would deliver games, books and music all in one application that was sold direct-to-consumer through mobile carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile and hardware leaders like Samsung and Gateway. Fingerprint was designed as a completely safe, walled-garden experience that parents could trust and kids would love.
Much like MacIntyre, WorldWinner has always been committed to understanding and growing with its userbase. Founded in 1999, the company pioneered cross-platform skill-gaming and now boasts a loyal user base that has spanned 20-plus years. Since its inception, WorldWinner has had over 34 million users who have played over 4 billion games and competed in more than 1.6 billion cash tournaments, with an average of 5 million tournaments played monthly. To date, WorldWinner has awarded users over $2 billion in cash prizes.
The rise and future of mobile-based skill games
MacIntyre credits her ongoing success to understanding the customer and what motivates players, especially on mobile. Much like the skill gaming market, the mobile app market is set to grow significantly through 2025 and is projected to reach $270 billion. According to YouGov, 42% of American adults play at least one hour of mobile games per week.
Mobile games also attract a more diverse user base. Mobile game users don’t necessarily identify as gamers in the traditional sense but enjoy “killing time” with mobile games. These casual players will be key in growing the mobile game market.
“Mobile is an integral part of our lives and what we do for entertainment; everyone has a device putting everything right at their fingertips all the time,” said MacIntyre. “In the mobile space, we’re competing not just with other games but also music, videos, social media, you name it. As a result, you can no longer succeed just by creating a great app — the mobile experience also must give consumers what they want and that’s connection.”