The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) have launched a new digital gaming platform that allows fans to trade basketball collectibles using blockchain technology.
The platform, which has been given the name NBA Top Shot, forms part of a deal with Dapper Labs, a studio-based production team that creates blockchain gaming, including the first of its kind, CryptoKitties.
NBA Top Shot will feature a social experience built around digital collectibles, as well as a complementary head-to-head game, designed to encourage fan engagement.
Roham Gharegozlou, Dapper Labs’ chief executive, said: “The NBA and its players are among the greatest heavyweights in global culture. Dapper Labs is proud to work with the NBA and NBPA to create an unparalleled digital experience for sports fans.
“Through NBA Top Shot, basketball fans can engage with their favourite players, teams, and each other in entirely new ways. We use the latest in blockchain technology to create assets and experiences that are guaranteed limited edition and authentic, not to mention portable and permanent in a way nothing digital has ever been before.”
Similar to other sports and fantasy gaming paltforms, fans who play the game are tasked with creating their ideal squad, with a different being that their rosters are built by acquiring live in-game moments from the NBA season.
These moments are acquired as ‘digital collectibles’ or ‘tokens’ and can then be either owned forever or used to compete against other players in online tournaments and leagues on-chain.
The NBA Top Shot collectibles platform is set to launch in the autumn this year, with the game to follow in early 2020.
Adrienne O’Keeffe, the NBA’s senior director for consumer products and gaming partnerships, said: “Dapper Labs’ innovation and expertise make them a perfect partner to introduce this ground-breaking game and what we believe will become coveted digital collectibles for basketball fans around the world.”
Josh Goodstadt, executive vice president of licensing for Think450, the commercial arm of the NBPA, added: “We believe blockchain technology creates a truly unique product that fans can collect, manage and engage within a fun environment.”