NFL Rivals NFT mobile game launches, plans move to Polkadot
by James · May 26, 2023
NFL Rivals, an officially licensed mobile game featuring NFTs, is now live in early access on both Apple’s iOS App Store and Google’s Android Play Store, developer Mythical Games announced Wednesday.
NFL Rivals is a fantasy football game where players act as team managers (GM), play and try to win games against opposing teams. While NFL Rivals offers a free-to-play mode, users will also be able to buy, sell and trade individual game characters (NFL players) as NFTs via Mythicals online marketplace.
Mythical has fully licensed its NFL characters and teams, allowing players to build rosters of their favorite players. Each character has an assigned rarity level and different strengths and weaknesses. NFT prices currently range from under $8 for a “regular” player to tens of thousands of dollars for a “legendary” character NFT.
In an interview with Decrypt at March’s Game Developers Conference, Mythical CEO John Linden said NFL Rivals was designed with a younger Gen Z audience in mind.
“What we’re setting up with the NFL is really kind of designed for these younger audiences that are coming in and embracing these digital assets,” Linden said. “The game has a really fast-paced art style and fast-paced gameplay, but very fun and has these principles of Web3 at the core of the experience.”
Last week, Linden said Decrypt that NFL Rivals brought in 150,000 players during its beta – and the wider Mythical economy saw $1.6 million worth of NFT sales in just one day.
But Mythical plans to cast a much wider net with NFL Rivals via its public debut.
“We think this game will do north of 10 million players this year,” Linden said, adding that with Mythical’s other planned titles and a Blanko’s Block Party expansion slated for this year, he believes the studio could eventually see 40-50 million players across all games.
Picking the Polkadot
While these are lofty predictions, it is also part of the reason why Mythical has also decided to move its gaming platform from its own private Ethereum-compatible network to Polka dot. Mythical Games will have its own “parachain” on Polkadot, which it calls the “Mythos Superchain.” He believes it will be able to handle mainstream-sized gaming audiences.
“I love that they have this kind of shared security model, where everything is this layer-0,” Linden said of Polkadot. “But as things become more participatory, it actually becomes safer. I think that’s really important.”
“I think a lot of [Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible] bored right now – you kind of have a “weakest link” mentality. If someone comes in and compromises that link, everyone can be affected,” he added.
Linden said the Polkadot team is less focused on marketing than some other competing chains, but he ultimately sees that as a plus.
“These guys have just been down and building great products,” said the Mythical CEO.
Parity Technologies – the crypto firm behind the development of Polkadot – is expectedly thrilled with the decision.
“By migrating to Polkadot, Mythical Games is unlocking unprecedented interoperability for Web3 games,” said Parity CEO Bjørn Wagner Decrypt. “Mythical Games and the NFL coming to Polkadot prove the appeal of building decentralized communities and the ability to compete with traditional centralized institutions.”
Acclimatization of the App Store
While Mythical continues to make inroads into Web3 gaming, Linden believes the company’s close working relationship with Apple and Google is helping to de-stigmatize Web3 gaming – potentially making the process easier and smoother for future developers in the space.
“They’re involved in the process, which is great,” Linden said of Apple and Google. “We’re hopefully moving the industry forward for everyone. But we’ll keep pushing.”
“It’s sports fundraising and the idea of digital sports fundraising,” he added. “Of course, Dapper [Labs] did some things a couple of years ago – but we think there’s so much room to grow.”