SuperTeam Games is partnering with the NFLPA to bring modern online multiplayer mechanics to the sports genre.
STG Football will launch in beta later this year as a free-to-play PC game, with console versions coming thereafter. The game pits teams against each other in fast-paced, 7-on-7 action inspired by arcade hits such as NBA Jam and NFL Blitz. STG Football will also feature blockchain-based elements, including star players only available as playable NFTs.
OneTeam Partners, which leads the NFLPA’s video games business, facilitated the deal, including a strategic equity component.
“We were just very excited that an extremely strong game designer was excited to do something unique and forward-thinking and different than what’s in market,” OneTeam chief product officer Henry Lowenfels said in an interview. “What I was most excited about was really a re-envisioning of some of the arcade action type of games that I grew up playing, like NFL Blitz.”
In June, SuperTeam announced a $10 million seed round, with plans to build games for other sports as well. The company has also discussed a potential license agreement with the NFL.
“Rocket League, Fortnite, League of Legends… Anything that goes viral pretty much, they are all online multiplayer only,” SuperTeam CEO Jerome Collins said, “and we feel like that is something that hasn’t really been done in sports for the most part.”
Investors in SuperTeam’s latest round include former Disney CEO Michael Eisner and MLS franchise owners Steve Kaplan and Bennett Rosenthal. Also among the investors was Blockchain game platform Forte, which will help SuperTeam launch its NFT program. The first set of digital items will go on sale around the time of the game’s beta launch, set for Q3.
Games like Rocket League and Fortnite have established a model in which users can play for free and spend money on in-game cosmetics and buffs. By tying ownership of similar digital goods to the blockchain, players will be able to more freely transact with their collections. Collins added that using real player IP rather than fictional characters bolsters the game’s value proposition and will strengthen gamers’ connection to their squad.
“This speaks to our overall philosophy on blockchain, web3, and NFTs in general—we view it as enabling technology,” Lowenfels said. “They’re trying to make an amazing game for a specific audience that happens to be enabled by blockchain technology. So the game comes first.”