SASKATOON -- Colin Witow, founder of Sleepy Dragon Games, is testing a mobile game called River Runner.

“Up until last December, I had a game for every night of the week that I would work on, which proved to be a little too much,” Witow says.

“So at the start of the year, I was just like ‘ok I’m just going to focus on these top three’ and River Runner is the forerunner right now.”

The game sets up a bit like an obstacle course, where a user is travelling down a river in a barrel trying to avoid objects such as rocks and other barriers, while collecting items.

He says it’s meant to be a simple game where a user tries to last a long as possible before crashing.

“As time progresses the rocks get more and more plentiful and they get bigger. Eventually it gets pretty difficult to make it through,” Witow says.

Witow says he’s hoping to monetize the game through a unique concept involving ads.

He says if a user crashes, they would have two options: restart the entire course over again, or watch an ad and continue from their current position with limited invincibility.

“You time continues, the leaves you collected also keep counting up,” says Witow.

The Regina man, who’s working on the game by himself part time, is hoping the testing stage will be finished this summer so the game can be fully released to the public on Android and eventually iPhone.

Tony Hawk joins Toronto e-sports company as advisor

Iconic skateboarder and entrepreneur Tony Hawk is kickflipping into the e-sports world.

Hawk is joining GameSquare E-sports, an international e-sports company headquartered in Toronto, as a strategic advisor.

“Tony Hawk will act as a special advisor to CEO Justin Kenna and the GameSquare group of companies as the Company pursues its mission of bridging the gap between global brands and the large and growing gaming and esports communities.” GameSquare said in a news release.

“Mr. Hawk continues to push the limits of his sport, and his iconic Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video game franchise is a long-time global success. However, it is his financial acumen and big-picture thinking that have made him the successful businessman and philanthropist that he is today.”

“Esports and video games are bigger than ever, so it’s paramount for companies to authentically connect great brands with hardcore fans. Throughout my career, I have understood that perseverance, creativity, and self-confidence are critical to success,” Hawk said in the news release.

Tony Hawk first rose to video game fame in 1999’s Tony Hawk Pro Skater.

How much could the video gaming market grow?

A new study is shedding light on just how much the videogame industry could grow in the coming years.

The study, from Global Industry Analysts, says the global video game market is expected to reach $293.2 billion by 2027.

It says the market was estimated at just over $156 billion in 2020 (all figures in USD).

“Among the other noteworthy geographic markets are Japan and Canada, each forecast to grow at 8.8 per cent and 8.1 per cent respectively over the 2020-2027 period,” Global Industry Analysts said in a news release.

It says the market in the U.S. is estimated at $36.4 billion in 2020. China is forecast to reach a projected market size of $82.4 billion by 2027.

When it comes to the global PC gaming market, the report says the U.S., Canada, Japan, China and Europe will drive much of the projected growth, with those five markets accounting for $26 billion in combined market size in 2020.