$100K for a Character in a Virtual Basketball Game That Can’t Be Played Yet? Sold.

By January 10, 2022The Sandbox
Click here to view original web page at sports.yahoo.com

As gaming industry veteran and crypto convert Marcus Bläsche tracked last year’s blockchain boom, he could see three distinct trends, as well as an opportunity.

There was the growth of NBA Top Shot, introducing a world of basketball fans to the new technology. There was Bored Ape Yacht Club, which showed the demand for so-called PFPs, the digital collectibles regularly used as profile pictures on Twitter. And in another realm, Axie infinity popularized play-to-earn mechanics, rewarding the game’s players with cryptocurrency.

More from Sportico.com

Bläsche, who spent time at Activision Blizzard and has been the marketing director for digital gaming platform The Sandbox, and co-founder Nick Vale endeavored to combine all three of those elements in one project. They called it Rumble Kong League.

They launched RKL in July, offering 10,000 NFTs, each tied to a unique cartoon image that would correspond to characters in a play-to-earn basketball game the group promised to build. The concept also shared similarities with the Zed Run horses that gained popularity earlier in 2021. In that case, digital horses can run in online races for prizes. Here, Rumble Kongs would compete in 3-on-3 basketball games with a multi-level league structure.

The 10,000 Kongs, initially offered at $200, sold out in a matter of days. Then Steph Curry wore an RKL beanie to a November press conference. Paul George used his Rumble Kong for his Twitter profile picture. The price of a Kong on the secondary market rose and rose; by December, the cheapest ones were selling for $10,000 each with about $45 million in total secondary sales volume. RKL called itself “The Metaverse Sports League.”

Before the end of the year, a user named KingChads set a Rumble Kong price record, buying Kong #5868 for 39.69 ETH or roughly $140,000. In an interview, KingChads, who requested he be referred to by his online name, said he’d spent roughly $500,000 on his collection of Rumble Kong League NFTs. The 29-year-old said he wasn’t a basketball fan (“at all”), but that he sees play-to-earn gaming as the next big crypto trend. Each Rumble Kong comes with ratings in defense, vision, shooting and finishing ability. The record-setter boasts a 94 on defense, though only a 30 in shooting.

All Today's Crypto News In One Place