We’re thrilled to announce the return of GamesBeat Summit Next, hosted in San Francisco this October, where we will explore the theme of “Playing the Edge.” Apply to speak here and learn more about sponsorship opportunities here

The NFL, the NFL Players Association and Mythical Games have teamed up to officially launch NFL Rivals — the first NFL-licensed game to incorporate Web3 technology.

NFL Rivals lets fans step into the role of general manager as they build (and own) their dream team. Players will face off in arcade-style gameplay as they climb through the ranks. Of course, new seasons and events will keep the action feeling fresh.

You can build your own teams in NFL Rivals.
You can build your own teams in NFL Rivals.

In addition to competing against others, players can join a squad and team up with other GMs. These squads will allow players to also represent their favorite NFL franchise.

As players grind their way to the top of the ladder, they will unlock and upgrade NFL players and other digital collectibles. Mythical Games previously told GamesBeat that while Web3 technology is incorporated into the game, its “gamers first” approach allows players to enjoy NFL Rivals without diving into the intricacies of blockchain technology.

NFL Rivals lets players collect, trade and upgrade digital collectibles
NFL Rivals lets players obtain, upgrade and trade digital collectibles alongside players.

Players can trade and sell these digital collectibles on Mythical’s Marketplace. This blockchain marketplace will be available in-game on mobile devices, reducing friction for users. The Marketplace will list items in Rivals credits. In turn, players can purchase this currency players through IAP. This extra step was likely critical to work within both App Store and Google Play Store policies.

Listed items will be available at fixed prices for now, but Mythical plans to add a bidding system.

Web3 adoption through sports sims

On April 26, Mythical Games soft launched NFL Rivals. In these four months, the title was downloaded over 2 million times with over 15 million matches played.

“The incredible reception by fans during the pre-season of NFL Rivals blew us away,” said John Linden, CEO at Mythical Games. “Now, with the global launch of the game, we’re excited to give NFL fans an opportunity to play, build, and own their very own team of licensed NFL players during the regular season.”

Mythical Games and NFL Rivals is positioning itself as a new way for fans to connect with their favorite NFL franchises. This will be most obvious with the Miami Dolphins as the franchise signed a deal with NFL Rivals recently. NFL Rivals branding will be featured during Dolphin’s home games inside the stadium. Additionally, there will be opportunities for fans to win VIP experiences at Dolphins home games throughout the season.

NFL Rivals follows several other examples of sports leagues exploring Web3-enabled games to boost revenue and fan engagement. Sorare is particularly prominent in this space, given its partnerships with the NBA, the MLB, and many of the top soccer leagues globally.

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.