As audiences return to live events, sports leagues all over the world are trying to provide fresh and innovative ways for fans to re-experience the sport. This is particularly represented through the development of sports game platforms, where both minor and major reforms are taking shape.
Big Changes in Sports Gaming
Both video games and low deposit bonus betting opportunities have played a role in extending fan engagement and increasing global interest in sports through their fun and interactive gaming styles. Several studies have shown that people who play sports games are more likely to physically enter sports teams or clubs. Therefore, entrepreneurial thinking and innovation in sports games are keystones in keeping sports engagement high worldwide.
EA Sports FC
One of the largest news in sports games this year has been the cessation of the contract between EA Sports and FIFA. The partnership officially concluded after a three decades long run which has produced one of the most popular sports games in the world. In the last two decades alone, the game pulled in a revenue of $20 billion and garnered over 150 million players worldwide.
The split comes after months of heavy negotiations. Ultimately, the failure to renew the partnership contract stems from FIFA’s interest in expanding its digital market possibilities whereas EA Sports favored exclusivity.
However, fans of the game do not need to worry about upcoming seasons of the game: it will continue under its new name EA Sports FC, which has already received support from several global clubs. Individual contracts with global soccer teams will remain, and the game setup will not change much. However, gamers might have to come to terms that next year’s game might be the final game that includes World Cup features. FIFA has also announced that it plans to produce a rival game.
The expansion of NBA Top Shot
Another game that continues to grow and expand this year is the NBA Top Shot program. The platform was launched in 2020 and creates modern collectible trading cards in the form of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. The platform releases NBA-licensed “moments”, which are NFTs containing video clips from legendary game plays in both current series and historical plays.
During the pandemic, the program has faced a volatile dependence on the crypto market’s popularity. However, at the beginning of this year, the program saw an increased customer investment of over 70% thanks to a new series of ads featuring Kevin Durant.
The game has since hosted an auction and giveaway of NBA All-Star VIP tickets, and has announced that it plans to develop this business idea further. Despite lacking official release dates yet, there have been rumors of signed merchandise and more VIP tickets being offered on the horizon, as well as a user-on-user game called Hardcourt.
NFL x NFT
The US National Football League (NFL) will follow in the NBA’s footsteps as they announced that they are planning to launch an NFT-based video game in 2023. The game is made through a partnership with gaming developer Mythical Games and will be called NBA Rivals. In the game, players will be able to collect 3D NFTs of NBA players, which they can then use in fantasy league type competitions against other players.
Apart from its own-and-play system, the platform also seeks to be utility-friendly in other ways. Users of NFL Rivals will later on be able to use their NFTs to access special events and in-game rewards. Similar to NBA Top Shot, the platforms seek to increase fan engagement and to keep the sport innovative.
The sports game for people with no interest in sports
New games, such as Circl, aim to create even more inclusivity by reaching the sports watchers who simply do it out of social requirements. Circl is a betting app where players do not bet and compete with the bookmaker but with friends.
Players enter their own chosen sum into a pot, to which they can invite anyone they want, and the money then goes to the player who won the bets. Players can play in groups of a hundred or even a thousand, or simply with the members of the living room for the evening.
This type of game ensures that even friends with little or no interest in the actual sports game on the TV itself actually can enjoy themselves and increase their engagement and interest in the sport. Similar to sports-based video games, apps like Circl create an alternative pathway into the world of sports.
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