Skillz, the mobile esports company, has announced the winner of its inaugural Indie Ignite game developer competition. First place was claimed by CodeCube Brothers, creators of Color Ring, earning the two Finnish brothers a grand prize valued at over $50,000. Hidden Pixel Games LLC, developers of Pool Payday, also received an honourable mention. The first-place prize is comprised of a package of services and funds, including a $25,000 user acquisition campaign, $25,000 in game launch optimisation services, as well as two Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2019 passes. The contest challenged indie game developers to create the next hit esports game and attracted an overwhelming response from the community. “My brother and I have tried to design a hit mobile game since 2010, and winning this contest has been the biggest validation – if we hadn’t, we’d currently be looking for second jobs to fund our business. Monetizing is a big challenge for indie developers in this crowded market, but Skillz has empowered us to pursue our own aspirations while having the financial stability of a larger games studio,” said CodeCube Brothers co-founder Esa Salminen. To enter the competition, mobile game developers integrated the Skillz esports infrastructure into the title of their choice. The games were evaluated based on criteria including strong D1 and D7 retention rates, daily active users, and core gameplay loop design. Color Ring took the lead with impressive metrics, excelling across all criteria. “Developers have always been central to our mission of democratising esports, and they never cease to impress us with their creativity. Skillz levels the playing field so even the smallest of indie developers have the tools needed to create a world-class eSport – all they have to bring is their creativity,” said Skillz CEO and founder Andrew Paradise. Skillz is committed to supporting indie game developers and kicked off its Indie Ignite Season 2 game developer competition this week. In support of this, Skillz is also hosting its first Game Jam next month. This event features hands-on tutorials from world-class experts on how to design and build successful mobile esports titles. The Skillz Game Jam is open to all game developers but is particularly ideal for Indie Ignite entrants.