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Manchester City signs with Animoca for blockchain games, collectibles

manchester city football soccer

Digital entertainment company Animoca has partnered with City Football Group to develop blockchain games and collectibles for three of the group’s soccer teams: Manchester City men and women’s teams and Melbourne City FC. Animoca has partnerships with, among others, Formula 1, Marvel and Power Rangers. City’s teams will be the first football organizations to have digital assets developed by the Australian firm. 

Mini-games for the three teams will be developed and released by Animoca on GAMEE, its hyper-casual gaming subsidiary. These types of mobile games can be instantly played by users and require them to complete simple tasks. The simplicity of hyper-casual gaming is more appealing to mass markets and Venture Beat estimated the industry generated between $2 billion to $2.5 billion in annual revenue in 2019.

Digital collectibles for Manchester City’s teams and Melbourne City FC will also be distributed on Quidd, Animoca’s collectibles subsidiary. The three teams will be the first football entities to join the network. 

The whole gaming experience will be enhanced by Animoca’s third subsidiary, The Sandbox. This is a decentralized, community-driven gaming platform that enables users to monetize both assets and user-created games. With City’s partnership, collectible owners will be able to buy and sell players’ collectibles in the Sandbox’s marketplace.

It is worth noting that since the City teams are the first football teams to join Animoca, its collectibles do not have enough reach to promote a global fantasy football game. That’s the path that other blockchain collectible networks such as Sorare often pursue. Furthermore, the initial small number of teams also inhibits the network service aspect of digital collectibles, where it gains value as more teams join the platform. Both matters may be addressed if more football teams join the network. 

All digital assets distributed by Animoca for the partnership will be non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The properties of the NFTs will be verified and secured using blockchain. 

Most digital assets are temporarily provided as a service on a licensing basis. In contrast, NFTs are owned by their holders, usually regardless of any decision made by other parties involved, including the NFT developer. This property enhances the Animoca gaming experience as digital asset owners are free to trade their NFTs at their own convenience or use them in supported games.

Another aspect of NFTs is that they prove the rarity and scarcity of digital collectibles. Rare football digital collectibles can be extremely valuable, bringing revenue for Animoca and City, and making the trading experience more exciting for users. 

The company claims to have recently sold the most expensive NFT to date for $223,000 for Formula 1 blockchain game F1 Delta Time. A total of ten official team cars were auctioned through NFTs. 

Meanwhile, Animoca is developing a blockchain-based game for motorsports championship MotoGP to be released on Dapper Labs’ Flow platforms. Star Girl franchise and other upcoming games that account for over one million active users monthly will also be released on Dapper Labs’ platform. 

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