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Real-money gaming on mobile is about to get a bit more flannel.

Developer Digital Melody revealed today that it is partnering with Cashplay, the worldwide service that provides game studios with the technology to include real-cash tournaments in their products. Timberman, Digital Melody’s big hit on iOS and Android where a lumberjack must chop down a tree while avoiding falling branches, is getting full support for cash tournaments in the coming days. Players in more than 150 countries will soon have the chance to wager that their tree-chopping skills are better than everyone else’s.

“We’re excited to add such a popular and high-quality developer to our lineup,” Cashplay chief executive Jarrod Epps said. “Timberman fits remarkably well with our mobile cash tournament concept, and we look forward to the response from Digital Melody’s audience.”

Betting real-money on skill-based games is just one of the latest ways that developers are monetizing their free-to-play releases on mobile. Cashplay wants to own this space, which has similar companies like Skillz competing for an audience. With big games like Candy Crush Saga and Clash of Clans dominating player acquisition, smaller studios can carve out more revenue by taking a slice of cash-wagering matches.

“The addition of Timberman is a direct response to mobile development shifting to new and growing means of making money with their games,” said Epps. “[Cashplay] keeps players focused on gameplay instead of distracting them with advertising and upgrade requests.”

If you’re wondering about the legality of betting on video games, Digital Melody’s creative director Pawel Kitajewski makes it clear that he believes Timberman is a skill game. By law in most U.S. states, players can wager on an activity as long as it requires at least 51 percent skill and no more than 49 percent luck. It is the same reason people can pay to enter golf or bowling tournaments without fear of legal repercussions.

“Cashplay is the expert in global real-money skill gaming, so a partnership to bring their service to our game was not only a no-brainer, but a must,” said Kitajewski. “We believe that once our Timberman players experience real cash gaming as part of their gameplay experience they will insist every title we develop moving forward also offers this fun addition to gameplay.”


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