SOURCE: SPYR, Inc.

SPYR, Inc.

June 29, 2017 08:45 ET

SPYR, Inc. Gets To Work In Esports and Mobile Gaming Economy

BONITA, CA--(Marketwired - June 29, 2017) - Esports is an industry that has grown exponentially in the past few years, and millions of developers, players, and sponsors across the globe can attest to its popularity. This means rapid growth for game developers like SPYR, Inc. (OTCQB: SPYR), a Denver-based company engaged in publishing and developing mobile games, and a company that is working diligently to get its flagship MMO game Pocket Starships ready to join the esports industry. Mobile game revenue was up 53% worldwide in Q1 2017, and is an industry that continues to demonstrate opportunities in many areas.

The esports economy, which beyond game/app development and distribution, includes media rights, sponsorships, advertising, merchandising, and of course ticket sales to venues hosting live events, is projected to grow by over 40% in 2017, and is estimated to be worth $1.5 billion by 2020.

"If you are a CMO and you are not in esports in 2017, you are going to risk getting fired," said Tobias Sherman, global head of esports at talent agency powerhouse WME-IMG. IMG represents some of the most common names in athletics, like Peyton Manning, Tiger Woods, and Roger Federer. The agency's position relative to esports is yet another endorsement of the growth of the industry.

For students heading back to college and those heading off to college for the first time in a few months, academic and curriculum opportunities are expanding on campuses across the country. Currently there are at least 17 colleges and universities in the U.S. with esports teams that compete in intercollegiate gaming leagues. The number of schools offering these programs -- as well as scholarships to support enrollment and participation -- is increasing almost monthly. Columbia College President, Dr. Scott Dalrymple, says, "esports aren't the future, they are the present. True skill in video gaming is just as impressive and just as legitimate as excellence in traditional sports."

While some college athletes may dream of getting drafted by an NHL, NBA or NFL team, college gamers are open to the same possibilities in their respective niche. And the financial rewards can be just as compelling; one former honors student at the University of Washington earned $200,000 in a 12-month period playing in video game tournaments.

In the classroom, courses are offered in everything from game theory to programming, graphics design to technology interface. At the University of Washington, gaming majors can choose between "Bioshock: Cyborg Morality and Posthuman Choice" and "Satan's Game: The Cultural Roots and Impact of Dungeons and Dragons." This of course is in conjunction with programming and design because that's what employers are looking for in new hires. Game and app developers need employees who have played the games, who understand the gaming experience and its history, and who can help create the next big thing in esports and mobile gaming.

In Q1 2016, mobile game revenue was $7.8 billion, which expanded to $11.9 billion in Q1 2017, suggesting a strong and healthy industry. With sustained growth in mobile game revenue, increasing mobile game installs, and an esports industry that is increasing in both popularity and revenue, companies like SPYR are well focused on growing their game development and publishing business, while also enhancing platform technology development.

While the esports market continues to post impressive numbers, so too do casual gamers. Recent numbers indicate mobile game installs are also up in Q1 2017, with one report stating that there were 8.8 billion installs in Q1 2017 -- up 15% from 7.6 billion in Q1 2016. SPYR's flagship game, Pocket Starships, recently became available for download on VK, the fifth most visited website in the world, and the largest online social media and social networking service in Europe. Pocket Starships is also available through 50 different game portals, online at www.pocketstarships.com, at the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store, etc. making the game available to mobile and online gamers globally, and adding to the company's global footprint.

So if your child tells you they want to major in gaming or esports, or your recent graduate is sending out resumes to game developers and mobile app companies, consider your job as a parent well done, because the future of the esports and mobile gaming industry certainly looks like a bright one.

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