We're thrilled to announce the return of GamesBeat Next, hosted in San Francisco this October, where we will explore the theme of "Playing the Edge." Apply to speak here and learn more about sponsorship opportunities here. At the event, we will also announce 25 top game startups as the 2024 Game Changers. Apply or nominate today!


Ben Vu wants his Battle Bears mobile game to become a big entertainment brand. So it isn’t so surprising that the chief executive of SkyVu Entertainment has set up some big billboards all over San Francisco touting the characters.

The mobile game franchise isn’t necessarily a household name yet, but the game series has surpassed 20 million downloads, and Battle Bears Royale launched on the Google Play store today. It’s a cross-platform multiplayer shooter title that’s also available on Apple’s iTunes App Store.

The billboards have led to a nick uptick in downloads, said Vu. And yes, those bears are farting rainbows at the Nugz birds. (The city of San Francisco did not approve of the rainbow farting, so SkyVu strapped a pot-o-gold to Huggable’s back instead.


GamesBeat Next 2023

Join the GamesBeat community in San Francisco this October 24-25. You’ll hear from the brightest minds within the gaming industry on latest developments and their take on the future of gaming.

Learn More

Omaha, Neb.-based SkyVu previously raised a round of venture funding for its brand expansion. I guess we know where that money is going.

The company has become famous over the past four years for its Battle Bears games. The series of tough-talking cute bears — great for young boys stealing time on their parents’ iPhones — has enabled SkyVu to rise up from the sea of iPhone game developers, graduating from garage startup to a real business with dozens of employees and millions of dollars in annual revenue. The funding fits with the trend of the year, in which a third of all new funding for game companies is going into mobile game startups, according to investment bank Digi-Capital.

Vu was previously an animator in Hollywood, working on films such as Coraline. He started SkyVu in 2009, hoping to create games with animated characters that would resonate with fans. Battle Bears was an instant hit when it debuted in August 2009 as a paid iOS game. It made a critical transition to free to play last year, allowing users to play for free and pay real money for virtual goods. The game is distinct in that the studio creates its own full cartoon animations in between levels. The average time spent in the game is 15.5 minutes per session, more than the typical iOS title. And monetization is three times as high as the average revenue per paying user.

Now, Vu is excited about taking game characters and transferring them into other media such as films. The potential for that kind of “transmedia” property with Battle Bears is one reason why the company was able to raise money.

GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Discover our Briefings.