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IDFA Changes Could Trigger Job Losses; Skillz Prepares for IPO

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The Gaming Economy daily digest brings you the leading news from the gaming industry. In today’s edition: mobile marketing firm Consumer Acquisition warns that impending changes to Apple’s IDFA could usher in substantial job losses; e-sports platform Skillz prepares to go public; and Kaizen Gaming appoints Ioannis Koutrakos as its new marketing director.

 

Job losses could follow Apples’ change to IDFA, warns Consumer Acquisition

 

Analysis of the impending changes to Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) by mobile marketing firm Consumer Acquisition has warned that the move could cause numerous jobs cuts. The US-based tech giant is expected to make the identifying system redundant once it releases its iOS 14 mobile operating system update, meaning that developers will have to find a new way to monitor the effectiveness of their advertising.

Apple is also set to make it compulsory for apps to gain explicit consent to collect and share the identifying data of users. The changes follow increasing pressure on Apple, alongside other big tech companies, to comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). By replacing IDFA with its SKAdNetwork, Apple will take over the measurement and sharing of user data, meaning that measurement and marketing firms risk being cut out of the picture.

Whilst other analysts see room for optimism in the change, Consumer Acquisition CEO Brian Bowman has a rather damning outlook. Bowman argues that retiring IDFA will “massively hurt mobile advertisers,” including firms centred around mobile ad measurement, mobile marketing, user acquisition, and ad networks, as well as advertisers.

 

Skillz prepares to go public

 

Skillz is set to become the first mobile e-sports platform to go public after agreeing to a partnership with publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company Flying Eagle Acquisition Corp. The company will become open on the Stock Exchange at a valuation of USD $3.5bn (£2.6bn).

The competitive mobile games platform has received in excess of USD $250m (£188m) commitment from investors, including Wellington, Fidelity, Franklin Templeton, and Neuberger Berman. The firm is expected to host more than 2 billion e-sports tournaments on its platform, an achievement that will accrue USD $1.6bn (£1.2bn) from entry fees. Skillz is also projected to rake in revenue of USD $555m (£417.6m) in 2022.

Stakeholders at Skillz, which will continue to be led by co-founders Andrew Paradise, CEO, and Casey Chafkin, CRO, have agreed to a 24-month lock-up with Flying Eagle sponsors, with an investor call taking place yesterday (2nd September).

“Becoming a public company is an important milestone for Skillz,” says Paradise. “We look forward to accelerating growth as we work with our developer partners to bring Skillz-powered competitions to every kind of game for billions of gamers worldwide.”

 

Kaizen Gaming appoints Ioannis Koutrakos as marketing director

 

Greece-based game technology firm Kaizen Gaming has announced that Ioannis Koutrakos will join its senior leadership team as the new group marketing director. Koutrakos, who joins from the position of chief marketing officer for Greece, Cyprus, and Malta at Microsoft, takes over from Chris Tzalavras.

The role will see Koutrakos lead all marketing and communication projects involving Kaizen’s subsidiary firms, Betano and Stoiximan. Koutrakos’s predecessor, Tzalavras, has moved into the role of head of commercial at Stoiximan.

Commenting on his appointment, Koutrakos said “I am happy to be part of one of the most prominent GameTech companies in Europe, […] Kaizen Gaming has demonstrated an impressively fast paced growth among the industry leaders, having achieved significant accomplishments and recognition. My ambition is to be part of a team that will become even greater at all markets, while keeping the high-quality standards in responsible communication it has already been recognised for.”

CMO at Kaizen, Panos Constantopoulos, has said that the firm is “really excited to welcome Ioannis to the Kaizen Gaming family, and look forward to seeing his wealth of experience incorporated in this key leadership position […] His knowledge and experience in the sector […] offers great value to our company”.