GameBlazers blends elements of fantasy sports, sports gaming and collectible sports cards to create a more engaging gameplay
This week I am talking with Rourke Struthers, CEO of GameBlazers, a concept fantasy platform that takes the idea of trading cards and we combined it with fantasy sports. They are not yet launched but you can sign up at gameblazers.com so that you can be ready to give it a go before NFL starts.
In their own words, GameBlazers, is “a sports gaming platform that empowers sports fans to create and manage their own experience”. The goal of this new platform is to create an experience similar to that of a multi-player online game, but where the players will be the owners and the coaches of their fantasy teams and franchise.
We spoke about the app, and what sets it apart from the key competitors. Let’s jump in!
What is the elevator pitch for GameBlazers? What is GameBlazers?
Struthers. GameBlazers is a new fantasy sports gaming platform that bridges the gap between the modern and future worlds of fantasy sports into a first-of-its-kind user experience. There has been a noticeable lack of innovation in fantasy sports in the past two decades, and fantasy as we know it is more or less just making lineups on a screen each week.
GameBlazers has blended the best aspects of video games and Athlete Items, and combined that with fantasy sports to help usher the genre into the future with gameplay that is more engaging and more sustainable than traditional fantasy. GameBlazers’ innovative gameplay mechanics give players the opportunity to be the Owner, GM, and Coach of their fantasy franchise.
There are so many fantasy sports products out there. What makes GameBlazers different from the rest of the crowd?
Struthers. GameBlazers’ biggest differentiators are our Athlete Items and Multipliers. Instead of your lineup being decided by a draft (which always favors those who draft first), users buy packs of digitally-based items that feature individual athletes. Unlike your typical fantasy league, there isn’t just one of each athlete available. So in the game’s entire ecosystem, there can be multiple Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts.
Some items are rarer than others, like your classic basketball or baseball card, and just like your Pokemon Trading Card Game or Magic: The Gathering cards, some items are “stronger” than others. Items can have Multipliers assigned to them so every point the athlete earns is then multiplied by 1.0 through 1.5, increasing in .1 increments. To illustrate an example, if an item has 10 fantasy points, and their multiplier is x1.5, the final point total for that Athlete Item would be 15 points. This unique game mechanic expands the player pool, because a player that might be lower on the Top 100 board can be more useful with a multiplier.
In addition, some of the items have an “unlimited” lifetime, expiring only after the athlete retires, and can be used from season to season, while others will only have a lifetime duration of 12 months. We’ve also taken concepts from the video game world and added a battle pass-like mechanic to the game, so users will be rewarded over time for their regular participation, and are benefitting from participating in the ecosystem.
When can we expect to see GameBlazers on the market? When can users sign up?
Struthers. Users can sign up right now. We’re deep into the development process and very close to getting this product across the line. We’re putting some finishing touches on some aspects of the game development, as well as striking some partnerships that will make the product pop. If you check out GameBlazers.com, you can actually get a little preview of the product and sign up for updates. If users do that before our official launch, we’re going to send them a free pack of items! While we don’t want to spoil the surprise, we’re aiming to have things launched this summer so we can have everything in place for the 2023 football season.
There seems to be a lot put into this product on the product design and user experience. Can you tell me more about the background of the designers? Is this their first time building something like this?
Struthers. The experience and background of our game designers is one of the things that gives me a lot of confidence in our product. Not only have we brought on numerous consultants with relevant experience to make sure our game environment is as balanced as possible, but we’ve brought in game designers that worked on FIFA Ultimate Team, which is the gold standard when it comes to sports game design and user experience involving an item-based ecosystem. Armed with their experience, we really believe that what we’ve designed at GameBlazers will drive user retention and innovation, and give so many opportunities to expand revenue, which is something traditional fantasy sports has really plateaued with.
After opening an item pack, am I able to trade or sell items on the platform? How will assets be managed?
Struthers. Yes! Once you open a pack, you can do whatever you’d like with them. You own them. Want to sell a prized item and use the profits to buy more packs? Be our guest. While these items aren’t NFTs, we will have a wallet, or roster, where your items will live. We have seen that involving roster management makes players more invested in their teams, figuratively and literally. But there is more strategy involved too. It’s not just clicking a button and putting a star player in your lineup. If you think you’re going to need an extra edge in a particular matchup, you can flip some lesser items for more valuable items with a higher multiplier to gain an extra edge that week. We want to empower players to create and manage their own experiences, and we believe letting them make their own decisions is the best way to do that.
After its launch, what else can we expect from GameBlazers in the future?
Struthers. I don’t want to tip our hand too much, but keep an eye out for some exciting partnership announcements in the coming months that will really take GameBlazers’ gaming experience to the next level. We’re also looking for different ways to improve the game experience and expand the scope in numerous ways: different types of gameplay, different gameplay mechanics, and we’re even looking into different sports. So there is a lot to expect from GameBlazers in the future. We are looking forward to setting the fantasy sports gaming industry on fire.