BusinessExclusive Interviews

How FlowPlay Built a Social Sports Wagering Dynasty

December 31, 2016 — by David Radd

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BusinessExclusive Interviews

How FlowPlay Built a Social Sports Wagering Dynasty

December 31, 2016 — by David Radd

FlowPlay has launched Dynasty Football, an online fantasy football strategy card game. Designed to appeal to both fans of collectible card games and fantasy football enthusiasts, this unique game blends the real-world player stats of fantasy football with the excitement of head-to-head card battles.

“Collectible card games have become increasingly popular over the last two years, and we saw an opportunity to bring our expertise in casual fantasy sports games to this growing market,” said Derrick Morton, CEO of FlowPlay. “We’re one of the first to introduce sports elements into the digital card games genre, allowing us to expand the appeal of Dynasty Football to the broader audience of 60 percent of the U.S. population that considers themselves sports fans, according to Gallup.”




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Social Fantasy Football Done Right

With Dynasty Football, FlowPlay is tapping into what SuperData estimates to be a $1.2 billion digital card games industry by engaging the nearly 60 million fantasy activities (according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association).

“We’ve now spent more than a year creating and building out a new category of ‘social sports wagering’ games, or free-to-play games that incorporate elements of traditional sports betting experiences,” said Derrick. “As we launch our fifth such experience with Dynasty Football, sports wagering has become a critical element of FlowPlay’s larger corporate and go-forward strategy, with the business unit bringing multi-million dollar revenues into the company.”

While Dynasty Football represents a new step for the company FlowPlay is already very familiar with the social sports wagering genre. Spearheading this new style of game, the company already has a notable suite of other titles including Vegas World Sports Book, 5 Card Draft, All Star Daily Fantasy and Ready Set Bet – all of which can be played within the company’s MMO, Vegas World.

One reason the timing might be right for Dynasty Football is the recent rumblings from U.S. government agencies about the legality of daily fantasy sports (DFS). Those DFS operators taking advantage of a current regulatory loophole, allowed them to slip past the stringent online gambling laws in the U.S., which may be closing soon.

“As regulatory uncertainty continues to plague the online sports betting and DFS market in the U.S., operators are struggling more and more to create a thriving company amid the turmoil,” detailed Derrick. “This is most recently showcased in the DraftKings and FanDuel merger, which has become a necessity for the previously highly-funded companies as their legal and regulatory issues pile up. And while small shifts are occurring to legalize DFS, regulatory fees in each market are substantial – leaving little to no room for smaller technology companies and start-ups to successfully enter the market.”

“We believe that free-to-play games are the only widely-legal, viable alternative to successfully bring online sports betting games to market in the U.S.,” asserts Derrick. “They will remain viable outside of shifts in regulation, and tap into a very broad audience of the one-third of the U.S. population that considers themselves casual gamers according to eMarketer.”

Social Fantasy Football Done Right

According to Derrick, Dynasty Football is the first sports-themed online strategy card game of its kind. What they feel makes it unique is the combination of real-world stats with drafting mechanics and active head-to-head competitions, making the action more engaging that fantasy sports games which typically provide very passive experiences.

Dynasty Football involves drafting 30 card offensive and defensive decks from over 350 available cards. Similar to a virtual football game, players use seven-card hands to either advance the ball forward on offence or stop it while on defense – looking to make big plays and use power cards for special abilities and strategies such as interceptions, timeouts and formations.

flowplay_dynasty-football_collectionDynasty Football is truly a passion project of the FlowPlay team, which has been wanting to develop a fantasy football-themed card game since we first entered the social sports wagering market more than a year ago,” Derrick added. “There were a few critical games – such as Vegas World Sportsbook, a virtual currency-based sportsbook, and All Star Daily Fantasy, a free-to-play DFS alternative – that were essential to building a base layer of traditional sports betting games before expanding to more unique experiences like Dynasty Football. Launching those initial games as an important stepping stone to ensure we were correctly approaching the market, and they each inspired a lot of the design elements and gameplay that ended up in Dynasty Football.

“When it comes to strategy card games, there’s a lot that goes into the creation of the actual cards and their strategic impact on the game,” said Derrick when discussing the development process for Dynasty Football. “The general gameplay was established early on and iterated on it in very marginal ways, however creating the appropriate cadence of cards and fantasy values proved to take the most time and dedication from the team.”

“While the overarching gameplay premise and strategy elements remained throughout testing, we made a number of adjustments to the cards and their strategic values to make sure Dynasty Football simulated a real-life football game as much as possible,” Derrick added.

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Making it Social

Going beyond the typical efforts of social games companies, FlowPlay focuses on its community of players in order to keep interest growing. This is true in Dynasty Football as is with the rest of the company’s games.

“Our most successful games are those created with the most highly-social features,” said Derrick. “Where players can easily move on once they become tired of a particular game or style of game – the community of players created within FlowPlay’s games has a strong draw for users to keep returning, if only for the purpose of connecting and reconnecting with others in the game.”

flowplay_dynasty-football_logo“Social games are at the core of FlowPlay as a company and all of the experiences we develop,” Derrick continued. “Specializing in engaging multiplayer games, everything we develop is built around the principle of creating truly social experiences for our players. Dynasty Football was no different, including deep chat and social sharing functionality along with the inherent social element of playing head-to-head with another player.”




 




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David Radd

David Radd

David Radd is a staff writer for GameSauce.biz. David loves playing video games about as much as he enjoys writing about them, martial arts and composing his own novels.

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