NFL crypto video game kick off draws closer

Quick Take

  • NFL Rivals releases footage of “arcade-style” gameplay ahead of upcoming NFT drop.
  • The game is one of many sports-themed blockchain projects in the works, including partnerships with NBA, MLB and UK’s Premier League. 

The NFL’s first official blockchain-enabled video game released gameplay footage ahead of a drop of non-fungible tokens and a 2023 launch.
NFL Rivals, created by Mythical Games in partnership with the National Football League, appears to be a cross between EA Sports' Madden football franchise and the classic NBA Jam arcade game which featured exaggerated, borderline cartoon like, player action. The game will allow players to try both their hand as a General Manager, users can build their own team, and take the field in 9 vs. 9 matchups.

It's the latest example of an increasingly crowded field of digital collectibles ventures which aim to tap into the passion of hundreds of millions of sports fans around the world. The UK’s top soccer organization, the Premier League and other American sports leagues like the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball are all also involved in, or circling, their own NFT-related projects.

The rush to offer avid sports fans opportunities to buy and sell officially licensed, professional sports league NFTs follows one of the most popular non-fungible token collections, NBA Top Shot, taking the crypto world by storm last year. The collection of hand-picked highlights from the 2020-2021 basketball season was for months the market’s best-selling NFT collection.  

NFL Rivals is also readying for a Nov. 15 drop of tokens listed asone-of-a-kind, fan-inspired helmets” available for purchase for 0.14 ether (about $225). Owners of the NFTs, part of the Rarity League, will earn early access to the forthcoming game, chances to win additional rewards and prizes on top of access to in-game tournaments. There will be more than 700 collectibles for each NFL team offered.

Gameplay preview of NFL Rivals courtesy of Mythical Games

NFT digital collectibles platform Sorare has been a particular benefactor of the increased interest in developing officially licensed NFTs for professional sports leagues. The company, already partnered with the NBA, raised nearly $700 million in 2021, boosting its valuation north of $4 billion. Sorare is also said to be in talks with the UK's Premier League.

Mythical Games, which achieved a valuation of more than $1 billion last year, recently released another blockchain-powered game called Blankos Block Party. 

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