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Leap is a next-generation sports discovery and endorsement platform. And today, the company said it has appointed Rockstar Games co-founder Jamie King to serve as an advisory board member.
As an official member of the Advisory Board, King will leverage his experience and expertise in the gaming industry and product development to support Leap’s upcoming platform launch, expand Leap’s global community, and act as a spokesperson and evangelist for the company.
This is not our usual kind of story. But it’s interesting to see how King’s in-game expertise can be useful outside of gaming. Leap plans to use blockchain’s decentralization to democratize sports and how athletes are noticed. It has created a gamified experience where athletes can compete for attention.
“I’m just proud to advise a company that really wants to do good and give a leg up to all the children around the world, especially the children who are, don’t necessarily have the same opportunities that we have here in a country like America,” King said.
The rapid rise of the mobile gaming industry in recent years culminated in 2021 with the generation of $93.2 billion, more than both the recorded music and box office industries combined. To keep growth going, people like King believe we need the blockchain and Web3 ecosystem.
Conversely, Web 3 companies looking to shake things up can benefit from the expertise of gaming industry veterans. By recruiting King, the company will benefit from his experience and knowledge of gaming and provide insights for Leap as it prepares for launch.
At Rockstar, King worked on a wide range of early titles, including Grand Theft Auto and other popular games. He served as Vice President of Development, responsible for recruiting and leading the core team of engineers.
As of 2018, King served as Head of eSports for Engine Shop, working with major clients such as MLB, MLS, NHL, Anheser Bush, Twitch, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. During his time at Engine Shop, King won a pair of Tempest esports awards, three Chief Marketer Pro Awards, a 34th Sports Emmy nomination and a Silver Clio for Bud Light’s BL6 gaming console.
As for the type of advice, King said, “I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about the concepts of gamification, game mechanics, user experience, onboarding, retaining people, especially over mobile apps. And then I can give advice on that and use my relationships across the sports community.”
He said Rockstar spent a lot of time thinking about core game mechanics loops, the things in games that create engagement. Rockstar also understood cultures and subcultures and what drives them.
He noticed how modern sports fans and athletes communicate in different ways over short-form videos, such as TikTok. These videos have become the way athletes market themselves to scouts and recruiters.
King currently works as vice president of marketing for Solace Lifesciences, where he is part of the team responsible for NuCalm, the clinically proven neuro-acoustic technology that reduces stress and improves sleep without the need for drugs.
Through Leap, youth athletes get to showcase their skills in short-form videos uploaded to the platform. By specifically working with young athletes from poor and isolated communities, Leap brings together a digital community of both youth sports talent and talent seekers to help the athletes not only gain recognition, but also be rewarded based on their skill levels and ongoing commitment to sports. activities.
The app features a custom video creator – Leap Studio – with specific filters, pins and add-ons to help talents better highlight their individual skills based on their sport. Talents can use the videos to challenge each other in Leap Dare Battles, where the community votes for whoever they think performed the skill better, and winning will increase the value and rarity of users’ NFT player cards.
“A gaming maverick of the likes of Jamie King will help LEAP not only grow our community, but also really push forward the integration of sports and games in a Web3.0 environment,” Leap CEO Omri Lachman said in a statement . “We are very excited to have Jamie join our team as an advisor and we have no doubt that he will do a tremendous job representing LEAP, building credibility and bringing our product closer to the people who can benefit the most .”
King said Leap’s product is innovative and corrects a major blind spot in the sports industry, which is the lack of growth opportunities for athletes from isolated and disadvantaged communities. King believes Leap can democratize sports.
Leap helps young athletes create videos, but in a decentralized way.
“We focus on showcasing their real-world endeavors and their physical athletic abilities,” he said. “They market themselves on social media.”
King met Lachman and hit it off because of his passion for sports.
“Leap embraces the future, which is one of the reasons it piqued my interest,” King said. “I really like the idea of it being a Web 3 sports discovery and monetization platform.”
He noted that children around the world do not have the same opportunities. They don’t have a chance to showcase their talent in a focused and safe and affordable place. King has children of his own, and therefore he is steeped in the sporting world.
“I like the concept of giving back, and helping the younger generations, and so combined with my love of sports, it all came together,” King said. “I also had an eye on the blockchain and Web3. With the metaverse, it’s super early days. I just fundamentally think that’s the future.”
King recognizes the opposition to blockchain and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and it reminds him of the opposition to free-to-play models in mobile games a decade ago. Rockstar had to adapt to that, and it eventually did well with Grand Theft Auto Online, King said. Free-to-play helped democratize the player base to those with mobile phones but no consoles.
“I think it’s early days and it’s a bit of the Wild West,” he said.
As for the gameplay itself, King said it’s much more difficult now when it comes to making triple-A games. You can work for years on a title and still have it become buggy. He likes the growing variety of games, the concept of Xbox Game Pass, but he’s not happy that the same names dominate the industry.
“I love the relationships I now make that are completely online,” he said. “I always love to like the health of the indie game scene. Unfortunately, you are aware of the toxicity.”
But he is encouraged to see more variety of people playing, including women and girls.
“The sport is going to be transformed. Who would have thought NBA Top Shot would have been an early success?” he said. “Esports is definitely going to be part of the sporting future.”
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