Unlocking the Gridiron: How 'NFL Rivals' NFT Game Turned a Passion into a Small Profit

By  Noah Washington October 4, 2023

Image for Unlocking the Gridiron: How 'NFL Rivals' NFT Game Turned a Passion into a Small Profit


  • One gamer invested $702 in 'NFL Rivals' NFT game through initial and in-app purchases
  • Dedicated approximately 110 hours to gameplay and marketplace activities over five months
  • Amassed an NFT player card collection valued at $4,180.27, resulting in $3,478.27 in profit

Mobile gaming has seen plenty of innovation, but it's rare for a mobile game to make the jump into blockchain technology and NFTs. However, NFL Rivals, a mobile football game developed by Mythical Games, has made headlines by introducing the ability to purchase NFT player cards on both iOS and Android platforms, marking a significant move from its previous web-based marketplace exclusivity.

New Google Play Policy

On July 12, Google Play announced a new policy change that will allow apps and games on their store to incorporate NFT trading and earning, provided developers follow certain guidelines. NFL Rivals, sensing an opportunity, quickly moved to add NFT capabilities to their games to get a leg up on the competition.

This policy shift brings NFT gaming closer to mainstream adoption. Games and apps can now enable users to buy, sell and trade NFTs, as long as they are transparent about how NFTs are obtained, valued and utilized in their platforms. However, developers must adhere to rules laid out by Google to list their apps and games with NFT features on the Play store.

The policy change signals a step toward embracing web3 and NFT gaming by a major tech platform. With appropriate safeguards and transparency, users may soon be able to engage with NFTs seamlessly as part of their gaming experience on Android devices via Google Play apps and games. NFL rivals have already integrated NFTs, hoping to capture some of this emerging market.

What is NFL Rivals?

By requiring players to spend a fair amount of time playing the game before unlocking the ability to obtain NFTs, NFL Rivals helps make sure that players have a solid grasp of the game mechanics and core systems first. This approach prevents players from jumping straight into the collectibles side of things without properly learning the game itself.

Discovering 'NFL Rivals'

In fall of 2022, a Reddit user named u/BradlyL received an email about an upcoming arcade-style football video game on the NFL Rivals platform. The email mentioned that in the game, players would be able to interact with NFL stars and also own and trade them as NFT digital collectibles. u/BradlyL was able to earn a substantial amount through the NFL Rivals platform after its launch.

The prospect was nothing short of fascinating, resembling the well-known Madden Ultimate Team concept but with the added twist of actual player ownership. As a seasoned player of EA's NHL series, the idea of having a lasting connection with their in-game assets rather than starting from scratch each year was tantalizing.

The email not only promised beta access but also an opportunity to own a club within the game. With excitement building, the email included a drop date for limited NFL Helmets and an invitation to a dedicated Discord community.

Investing in Beta Access: NFT Helmets

The gateway to this intriguing world required purchasing an NFT Helmet for 0.14 ETH at a time when ETH was trading at around $1,300 USD. This initial investment set the user back approximately $364.

Upon entering the game, a quick glance revealed that no one had yet purchased helmets representing the Detroit Lions or the Washington Redskins. Acting swiftly, u/BradlyL secured both helmets, even managing to snag early mint numbers–a fortunate turn of events that would prove beneficial later on.

However, it wasn't all smooth sailing. The Discord community witnessed months of anticipation, during which many helmet owners decided to offload purchases at significant losses. For a while, confusion reigned, as most were unsure about the nature of their acquisition.

For much of 2023, the games community saw little beyond a handful of gameplay screenshots in Discord. But excitement grew when the developer announced a closed beta for NFT helmet holders, with beta testers receiving free NFTs when the game officially launched.

Time Invested: Dedication Pays Off

u/BradlyL's current collection includes 28 NFT players, accrued over approximately 110 hours of gameplay, includes 3 Mythical, 20 Legendary, 4 Epic, and 1 Rare players valued at $4,180.27 in the current market. The journey to accumulating this impressive collection was no walk in the park. The author devoted an estimated average of 20 to 40 minutes to the game each day, playing an average of 5 to 10 games daily, including training matches.

By this calculation, u/BradlyL had spent approximately 1,200 minutes or roughly 20 hours per month playing the game.

Over the course of roughly five months, this translated to an estimated 100 hours of gameplay. This figure, however, did not account for the additional time invested in the marketplace, which involved trading, researching and selling, adding another 10 hours to the total. So, in estimation, the author had dedicated 110 hours to their journey.

The Costs and Returns of NFT Gaming

Over time, the value of u/BradlyL's NFT collection grew to $3,478.27. Based on the hours spent playing and engaged in the game's marketplace, their estimated hourly return on investment was $31.62.

Though financially profitable, the real value was in the entertainment, engagement, and community provided by this new gaming format. The initial costs provided access to an emerging activity that combined gaming, digital assets and peer connections.

Viewed as an investment in entertainment, the expenditures paid dividends for u/BradlyL in enjoyment and experience that extended well beyond financial returns.