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WorldWinner is giving gamers around the planet the ability to compete with each other for a chance to win the most lovely prize of all: cash.

The Internet has turned game playing from a Sunday night family pursuit to a global craze. Los Angeles-based WorldWinner is giving gamers around the planet the ability to compete with each other for a chance to win the most lovely prize of all: cash. CEO Stephen Killeen chats about entertainment, competition, and unwinding through Solitaire.

What got you personally interested in doing this work?

When I was the president of one of the world’s largest online media companies, Terra Lycos US, I witnessed firsthand the tremendous demand at Gamesville,a Lycos property. Users from all over the world flocked online to play games, whether their motivation was to enjoy some downtime and a few minutes of entertainment or test their skills across a variety of games. That intrigued me.

At WorldWinner, we’ve taken a pursuit of people around the world–the desire to compete and be entertained–and matched it with a transactional-based business model that is fundamentally sound and the hallmark of some of the most successful online ventures today to create a truly unique experience for our players.

The online game industry seems to be booming lately. Why do you think this might be?

Playing games is as old as time itself, and no doubt our desire to see how we “measure up” against the competition, or even ourselves, is a pursuit most of us can identify with. Humans have sought ways to entertain themselves since the dawn of time. Online games are the natural evolution of this intersection between competition and entertainment, only vastly improved by the interconnectivity provided by the Internet.

Online games provide competitive entertainment that millions of people can experience from the comfort and privacy of their own computer. Much of what makes our games so compelling is that it touches upon a broad demographic but resonates with different people for different reasons.

What’s your favorite game?

I enjoy “8-Ball Pool” when I’m especially hungry for some competition and looking to compete in head-to-head tournaments that pit me directly against one opponent. At times, I also enjoy the social element of the game as I can talk a little “cyber trash” as I’m running the table. As a slight departure, though equally as engaging, I play SwapIt! when I’m looking for just a fun, entertaining experience. I even enjoy playing card games such as Solitaire, especially when I’m looking to relax and enjoy a little down time in my day–whether it’s decompressing after work or taking a quick break during the day to get my sanity check.

What do you like best about what you do?

I’m ultra competitive and find myself enjoying just about anything that allows me to compete against others, whether it’s ice hockey, racing my girls around the block, or enjoying the competitive factor within any of our games. But the bottom line is that with whatever I’m doing, I won’t be satisfied with second place.

The same applies to the business landscape for me. I’ve spent over 12 years within interactive services and have been around long enough to determine strong business models from those that are less viable. I see that as a company, we have a fantastic opportunity to define this space and be the winner in our category, and that excites me. I haven’t had this much fun or been this challenged in over ten years.

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