Giving fans a chance to go head-to-head against the Board of Ballers provides Fury 90 with a unique selling point that could separate it from competing mobile soccer experiences like Nordeus’ Top Eleven 2015 and EA’s FIFA 15 Ultimate Team. U.S. national team standout and Fury 90 baller Bedoya is confident the project can go far. “I think mobile gaming in … soccer is still a little bit in its infancy, to be honest. … Seeing things out there and doing some research, [Fury 90 has] great potential, I believe,” he said.
Bedoya, who also plays for FC Nantes in France, joined Davis and SWOL because he saw an intriguing opportunity. “I have an entrepreneurial spirit. Soccer doesn’t last forever. … What made me attracted to [SWOL] was the team that they’ve built. [Davis] has a lot of knowledge in the football world … as well as his partner [Karbassiyoon]. … It’s kind of tough to find two better connected guys in [the] international-soccer spectrum.”
Senderos, who plays for Aston Villa of the English Premier League and the Swiss national team, echoes this enthusiasm. “Now with social media, people can contact you. You might be able to answer them, but you can’t really play against them. … This is really the future — a mobile app where you can actually play against celebrities and players,” Senderos said.
“I think the gaming space is huge, and [it] appeals to a lot of people. … I’m really excited about it. I know the other players who are part of the Board of Ballers are very excited,” he continued.
While SWOL knows how it’ll gain funds from Fury 90, it continues to seek out capital to support the project. “We actually went through a mobile accelerator … in Silicon Valley called Momentum Mobile Accelerator, [which] is also an investor,” Davis said. In addition, SWOL has received funds from Kipp Lassetter, who founded and sold the health-information company Medicity to Aetna for $500 million.
The ballers themselves are investors and marketers according to Davis, which brings an interesting dynamic to their involvement in Fury 90. “For me it’s a great feeling [to be an investor and equity holder]. … I’m proud to be a part of it,” Boateng said. “It’s about technology. It’s about the game, and I never had this before. It’s a completely new thing for me.”
Bedoya added, “[Fury 90 is] an innovative product. [SWOL is] very ambitious, as well as I am, to grow the brand internationally as well as the product.”
Senderos showed similar passion. “I’m interested in tech. … And to have a game like this where I could be involved is definitely something that I didn’t hesitate to join,” he said.
Having a direct stake in the success of Fury 90 should motivate the players even more to engage their fans within the mobile experience. “Football players do get competitive. I won’t want to lose many games, so I will try and go back to the game and make sure I [won’t] get beat so much. So, I’m sure fans will definitely want to beat celebrities and football players, and that will definitely be an added appeal to the game,” Senderos said.
“That’s what excites me the most … is that engagement with fans and the other players as well as building that exclusive network … with other athletes and celebrities that get on the game,” Bedoya said. “The social-media aspect of it I think makes it cool. A big part of competition is being able to talk smack to others, so to speak. And I think that engagement amongst fans and athletes and celebs … that brings us close.”
Fury 90 remains in development. SWOL beta-tested the game during the last World Cup, and Davis mentioned that his team came away with positive results. “Lukas Podolski, who played for Germany in the World Cup, actually played over 400 times in Fury 90 during the … tournament,” he said. A closed beta continues for the project.
SWOL hopes to launch Fury 90 on Android and iOS this August — to coincide with the beginning of the next European soccer season. Davis wants to eventually localize the game for multiple regions across the world.
“If I can look back in a year from now and say that we’re on Android, we’re on iOS, we’re in 40-plus soccer languages, and in every one of those markets, we have a professional player as an ambassador for our game and involved in the Board of Ballers … then I think we’ll be in a really good spot,” he said.