The NFL is creating the first blockchain game in the league using Mythical

The NFL is creating the first blockchain game in the league using Mythical

The NFL has commissioned Mythical Games to develop the first blockchain game in the league called NFL Rivals, a free arcade-style soccer playing experience where users can buy and sell NFTs to players to improve their teams. While Mythical Games has yet to become a household name for the sports industry – its financial backers are as A-list as it gets.

Andreessen Horowitz He led funding for Legendary Games’ $150 million Series C round last November, which also included investments from:

  • Michael Jordan
  • The investment arm of the NFL 32 property rights
  • Jonathan Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots Club and the Kraft Group
  • OneTeam Partners
  • Michael Gordon of Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool

Other investors include cryptocurrency firms FTX and Binance, as well as Redbird Capitaland D1 Capital and Rain Group. The Series C round put Legendary Games at $1.25 billion.

NFL rivals It will transition to private beta later this year before being released worldwide for mobile and PC web games in early 2023. It will be the first Mythical game to be licensed by a major professional sports association, but the NFL has been tempted to sign On several contract with the company for a year amid success Blancos Block Partya multiplayer open world game from Mythical that recently became the first NFT game to be offered through the Epic Games Store.

Before NFL Rivals, Mythical Games is also launching Rarity League A collection of officially fan-inspired helmet NFTs for all 32 NFL teams. Each team’s helmet drop is limited to 2,500 NFTs that cost 0.14 ETH (Ethereum), currently equivalent to about $188. Rarity League NFTs owners will get access to the NFL Rivals private beta.

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Partnership with Mythical

“Part of the reason we like Mythical so much is what they’ve done with Blankos, they’ve come up with a great game design at price points that consumers can engage in, like $9 purchases and $10 paid in fiat instead of having to pay in ETH. That’s the experience I think you’ll You’ll see it at the NFL Rivals,” said NFL Vice President of Video Games Ed Kiang. “When we look at Mythical and we look at Web3 games, they tend to be a younger audience. But there’s also not necessarily the people we’re trying to target — people who are older, people with higher disposable incomes who are crypto-enthusiasts — and that’s not really the part we’re aiming for.” .

Joe Lemmer of SportTechie recently spoke to Kiang about the new NFL virtual reality game, Pro Era. You can read more here.

Mythical’s deal with the NFL is a joint partnership with the NFLPA, in which players are expected to help promote the NFL Rivals. The traditional head-to-head matches of the NFL Rivals will only last two minutes and will be a mixture of simulation gameplay with some tapping on the screen to control the players. The crux of the matter is that fans can act as general managers by collecting players’ NFTs to build their teams to compete against other teams. NFTs will be available in different tiers, with rare tiered player tokens providing stronger in-game performance.

Part of the reason we love Mythical so much is what they’ve done with Blankos, they’ve come up with a really cool game design at price points that consumers can engage in, like $9 purchases and $10 paid in fiat instead of having to pay in ETH. This is the experience I think you will see at NFL Rivals.

Mythical Games’ CEO is John Linden, who was previously the head of Activision studio and primarily worked on the Call of Duty franchise. Linden spoke Tuesday at a Twitter Spaces discussion hosted by NFT Recently, saying that the Mythical development of the NFL Rivals was themed with nostalgia and was inspired by the arcade-style games of the ’90s NFL Blitz (first released in 1997) and NBA Jam (first released in 1993). He believes that the fast-paced NFL Rivals will serve a more casual player than the league’s featured Madden video game series from Electronic Arts.

“The crazy part about the Madden franchise is that even though it’s in its 32nd year, it’s not a huge user base. The reason for that is not that it’s not an accessible game.” It takes a lot of skill, and a lot of effort to understand this game, Linden said. And to be really skilled in that match. And what we’re doing with the NFL Rivals is that the NFL has opened up a lane for us to build this fan-favorite game,” he added during the Twitter Space. “You can follow the game, play multiple rounds, and put it back in for later. Our goal with the NFL is to get this into the hands of tens of millions of players.”

NFL Rivals target market

Linden charted the age of the NFT players overall greater than Kiang’s goal for the NFL Rivals. “I would say the average age is definitely in that 18-34 range for the Blancos,” Linden said. “We’ve actually seen a lot of players get their kids to play with them, we see a lot of videos where they play with their kids. We think the age demographics are going to be similar in the NFL, 18 to 34, maybe even 18 to 45, especially with the pool sides.” We have a few things that we’ll be announcing with sports memorabilia later, the traditional sports memorabilia companies that we’ve talked about, and I think that will really lead to that demographic as well.”

Linden added: “We see a lot of people when they sell Blancos [NFTs]They end up using that money and buying more Blancos. So having cash in the game tends to buy more. “I think that would be a great trend to watch web3 – where does that money go? They just cash it in and take it, some of it is good and that’s cool. We have people who have paid the bills for the game and that’s cool too.”

A July study from the National Research Group found that 67% of sports fans prefer physical memorabilia over digital memorabilia and 72% of 3,250 fans surveyed view NFT as a “way to make money.” A separate recent study from MKTG Sports + Entertainment surveyed 350 professionals working in the sports and entertainment industry, with one in three respondents (30%) saying they “believe NFTs exploit fans”. The study also found that 73% of industry professionals admit to having “little or little knowledge” of non-replaceable codes.

Entering the blockchain space

“What we want to avoid is creating an NFT project that appears as a speculative NFT art project,” Kiang said. “We have never viewed this as a major type of speculative product, so we are not affected by volatility in the cryptocurrency market,” he added. “Our approach has always been to create great games for everyday audiences. I think a lot of what we see in the cryptocurrency market also reflects the stock market in general.”

NFL Rivals will allow fans to purchase NFT player cards and packages using cryptocurrency, but Kiang expects most users to pay fiat by linking their credit card. Linden estimated that 77% of NFT transactions at Blankos Block Party are paid in fiat currency. The entire cryptocurrency market has lost $2 trillion in market capitalization since its peak in 2021.

Related Topics: More about cryptocurrencies will be covered in the upcoming SportTechie webinar, “Verifying Crypto Partnerships: Spotting Risks and Building Long-Term Success in a Volatile Market.” Register for free here.

“When it comes to cryptocurrency as a payment method, we saw a lot of demand from our customers, let’s say until six months ago,” Takis Georgakopoulos He told Bloomberg this week. “We see very little at the moment.”

Kiang described free mobile games as a “massive part” of the gaming industry, and he expects the NFL to do more in this area. The league also has a partnership with Skillz Mobile Game Developer.

“Value is what you perceive,” Kiang said. “Our partnership with Mythical and what we do with NFL Rivals, the ability to drive value for this is at its core on the quality of the game,” he adds: “If we create truly great gaming experiences in the same way that a free mobile game makes people understand the value of characters in the game.” , and the boosts that are available in the game, and then I think they’ll want to spend it to really express their fan base with items they can buy. And I think that’s the same with blockchain-based games.”

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