Mythical Games announced Wednesday the launch of NFL Rivals, a mobile game with NFTs and officially licensed NFL characters, now available for early access on Apple’s iOS App Store and Google’s Android Play Store.
In NFL Rivals, players act as general managers, strategizing and winning games against other teams. The game allows players to form rosters that feature their favorite NFL players. These characters have their own set of strengths and weaknesses and are categorized according to their rarity level.
While users can play the game completely free, they can also purchase, trade and sell individual NFT game characters through Mythical’s online marketplace. A “common” player, for instance, could cost less than $8, while a “legendary” character NFT could cost tens of thousands of dollars.
During an interview with Decrypt at the Game Developers Conference in March, Mythical CEO John Linden said that NFL Rivals was created to cater to a younger demographic, mainly Gen Zers.
“The game has a really fast-paced art style and fast-paced gameplay, but really fun and having these principles of Web3 core to the experience,” said Linden.
Mythical Games has been developing NFL Rivals for some time, with the beta version attracting 150,000 players and generating $1.6 million in NFT sales in one day.
The company aims to expand its reach to a broader audience through the public release of NFL Rivals. Linden expressed his confidence in the game, saying, “We think this game will do north of 10 million players this year.”
Considering the studio’s other upcoming titles and an expansion of Blankos Block Party, also set to launch this year, he envisions 40-50 million players across all Mythical’s games.
Migration to Polkadot blockchain
With that optimistic prediction, Mythical Games has decided to switch from its private Ethereum-compatible network to Polkadot. The company will have its own “parachain” on Polkadot, known as the “Mythos Superchain,” which Linden believes can handle mainstream gaming audiences.
Linden praised Polkadot’s shared security model, as it operates on layer-0 and gets more secure as more users participate.
According to Linden, there is a prevailing “weakest link” mindset when it comes to several Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible chains at present. He believes a single security breach could have a domino effect and put users at risk.
Although the Polkadot team may prioritize marketing less than other competing chains, Linden views this as a positive attribute. He commends the team’s focus on developing high-quality products and remaining dedicated to their work.
The decision to migrate to Polkadot has been met with enthusiasm from Parity Technologies, the cryptocurrency company that spearheads the development of Polkadot.
“By migrating to Polkadot, Mythical Games is unlocking unprecedented interoperability for Web3 gaming,” Parity CEO Bjorn Wagner said, as quoted by Decrypt. “Mythical Games and the NFL coming to Polkadot proves the appeal of building decentralized communities and the ability to compete with traditional centralized institutions.”
The development of NFL Rivals is part of a broader trend in the gaming industry toward creating decentralized, blockchain-based games that offer new ways for players to interact with game content and other players.
The move to Polkadot also reflects a growing interest in alternative blockchain networks that can support mainstream-sized gaming audiences and offer greater security and efficiency for NFT transactions.
A race to normalize Web3 games in app stores
Linden is confident that NFL Rivals’ availability on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store will help normalize Web3 games and make it easier for future Web3 game developers to list their games on the platforms.
“They’re involved in the process, which is great,” Linden said. “We’re hopefully moving the industry forward for everybody. But we want to keep pushing.”