Connect with top gaming leaders in Los Angeles at GamesBeat Summit 2023 this May 22-23. Register here.
Mythical Games’ NFL Rivals has launched worldwide in early access and is available for download on the Apple and Google mobile stores.
It is the officially licensed Web3 game from the National Football League (NFL), and NFL Players Association’s (NFLPA). Mythical is also expanding to the Polkadot blockchain.
Mythical CEO John Linden said in an interview with GamesBeat that the general manager game with arcade-style gameplay delivers on fans’ dreams of being a GM of an NFL team. The NFL’s launch of the game, incorporating Web3 digital ownership with in-game utility, will allow fans to own, collect, and trade digital assets that unlock access to special events, in-game rewards, and other unique features.
“It’s locked and loaded, ready to go” Linden said. “You can play the entire game 100% just mobile and never sell anything or trade anything and just play it.”
GamesBeat Summit 2023
Join the GamesBeat community for our virtual day and on-demand content! You’ll hear from the brightest minds within the gaming industry to share their updates on the latest developments.
Linden said Mythical met with the app stores continually to get approval to do the combination of Web2 and Web3 gaming. He said the platforms trusted Mythical to bring in the gamers and protect them in the blockchain transactions while still offering innovations for Web3 gameplay. He said the parties worked out mutually agreeable practices for Web2/Web3 games.
The mobile app stores are fine with a game that has Web3 elements so long as Mythical doesn’t tout Web3 in the apps.
“As long as you don’t mention Web3, they are Ok with having that in the Web2 store,” he said.
For Web3 gamers, Mythical operates its own app store marketplace outside of the Apple and Google stores. Mythical can sell discount cards for that app store to drive traffic to it. In such an environment of Web2 and Web3, the blockchain is optional.
“You can play the entire game 100% on mobile and never sell anything or trade anything or trade anything.
During the past two months of soft launch, the game has amassed around 150,000 players. This week, with the NFL Draft, Mythical is doing promotional activities of limited run NFTs on behalf of the game. And during the Super Bowl, Mythical did a presale of the Super Bowl team characters from the Chiefs and the Eagles. The NFT trading volume has been in the tens of thousands of dollars so far.
Coinciding with the 2023 NFL Draft, this early access period – dubbed “Offseason” – will kick off with themed in-game events and player packs to celebrate the NFL Draft and allow NFL fans and gamers alike to compete against other GMs in a licensed football game built from the ground up for mobile devices. Gamers assemble their own player rosters and teams while building, leveling up, and improving their lineup – all in preparation for the upcoming global launch of the game and the start of the 2023 NFL season in the fall.
The game has a campaign mode where you try to win the Super Bowl. He said he thinks of it like playing a card game. The gameplay is quick at three to four minutes.
“With the arrival of NFL Rivals, fans can now journey into the fantasy of being a general manager of an NFL team while being empowered to buy, collect and trade through the digital ownership technology enabled in the game,” said Ed Kiang, vice president of video gaming at the NFL, in a statement. “Collaborating with Mythical Games and the NFLPA to produce an innovative gaming experience such as NFL Rivals is a testament to the NFL’s success in the world of Web3 gaming.”
NFL Rivals is spearheading the play-and-own video game model by allowing gamers to own, collect, and trade in-game assets while building their teams. Mythical Games’ “gamer-first” philosophy gives gamers true ownership over the gaming experience and in-game content, Linden said.
“By bringing NFL players into this immersive blockchain-based world, we’re not just creating a new level of engagement for fans, but we’re also delivering a truly unforgettable experience,” said Terése Whitehead, a vice president at NFL Players, in a statement. “It’s going to be a game-changer, and we can’t wait for fans to join us on this thrilling new journey.”
“Mythical Games was founded to usher in the next generation of video games and gaming technology,” said Jamie Jackson, Chief Creative Officer at Mythical Games, in a statement. “NFL Rivals achieves this goal by providing gamers with an engaging, fun, and entertaining game that leverages innovative new technologies to take the gaming experience to the next level. While we truly believe that Rivals is an opportunity to showcase that our technology can democratize the world of gaming through digital ownership, we also think that gamers and NFL fans will simply find that the game is a lot of fun to play on their mobile devices.”
Mythical Platform protects gamers that may be new to blockchain through a custodial wallet for their digital items while allowing advanced players the freedom to link their own wallets via bridges between the Mythical Chain and public mainnets, the company said. With its “gamers-first” focus, the Mythical Platform ensures players don’t need to dive into the intricacies of blockchain to enjoy ownership of their digital collections and have a great game experience, Linden said.
OneTeam Partners helped with licensing.
As for Polkadot, Linden said. “We’re seeing a steady growth of transaction volume. And we’ve now kind of overtaken Ethereum in terms of the digital asset transactions. We wanted to make sure we had something that would truly scale. So we had to partner with somebody who can scale and have stronger governance and security.”
He said that the company worked on interoperability and it is moving the Mythical chai over to the Polkadot change. Polkadot will help Mythical access Ethereum virtual machines.
“We’re going to be moving to a stronger platform for governance it is stronger for security and stronger for interoperability,” he said.
Linden said there are other things the company will announce over the next summer, and it will may act on a behalf of the industry to push new technologies. The game has been played the most in Mexico and Canada.
“We’re seeing a steady growth in channel,” he said.
GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Discover our Briefings.