Mythical Games is perhaps the most underappreciated web3 game developer in the space, having released the first blockchain game on the Epic Games Store, Blankos, and then partnering with the NFL for NFL Rivals. What’s more, NFL Rivals is flying up the charts.
I’ve been following Mythical Games for some time at this point. Although Blankos isn’t the sort of game I gravitate towards, it is a superb example of its genre. However, what caught my eye was NFL Rivals. Securing a partnership with the NFL is no small feat and I’m still unclear how they managed it, but they have proven it was a smart move on both sides.
I met with some folks from Mythical Games at GamesCom last year and you can tell they are a talented outfit with a clear vision of where blockchain fits into the gaming equation. Although Blankos did exemplify that in a number of ways, it’s NFL Rivals that warrants some attention for what it is doing for web3 games.
NFL Rivals is a 3D, arcade NFL game — almost a spiritual successor to NFL Blitz — on mobile, both Android and iOS. You build your team with NFT cards that are bought and sold on the Mythical marketplace, which introduces the concept of true player ownership into a sports game. Upon release in April, NFL Rivals rocketed up the games charts, as Mythical CEO, John Linden, tweeted:
Amazing first day for NFL Rivals!! #1 Sports game in the App Store!! #6 so far out of ALL games in the App Store!! @PlayNFLRivals Very proud of the entire @playmythical team! Thank you to the @nfl and @NFLPA for partnering with us!! pic.twitter.com/6S5uvKNWPQ
— John Linden (@johnwastaken) April 27, 2023
Now, however, NFL Rivals has hit a major milestone that goes a way to demonstrating how much of a success story the game is: NFL Rivals has over 1 million downloads already. That is an impressive metric by anyone’s standards, but for a web3 game, it’s particularly noteworthy. Linden, unphased by the large number of installs, told Coindesk that “We’re sitting at a 4.8 out of five on [the App Store] with nearly 22,000 reviews, which is great.”
Linden also went on to quote over 15 million matches played and an average of two hours of gameplay per player per day. The latter of those two stats is staggering, really; it is a testament to the addictiveness of the game, which is in turn high praise for the developers.
NFL Rival typifies what I believe blockchain technology’s adoption into the games industry will look like: it will become quietly ubiquitous and within a decade or two, young gamers will be confused about games selling you things you didn’t own.