I’ve written a bit about CLUB before but I thought I’d come back with an update post now that the Founding Clubs sale is live and some of you are asking questions. Disclaimer – I’m part of the CLUB team, so obviously read this with that in mind (but note that I wouldn’t put my name to something I wasn’t 100% confident about!).
What is it?
The vision for CLUB is simple: create an engaging mobile football game that rewards players for the skill, time and energy they put into it. CLUB is primed for large-scale adoption (as a free-to-play mobile app) and the focus is firmly on ‘fun’ and on ‘play and earn’, rather than ‘play to earn’. I’ll come back to this in a bit to explain what I mean.
Development of the app is in progress. I’ve seen the first few screens fire up on a phone in the hands of a live human being – we’re not that far off having a working beta! And it looks incredible – seriously. That’s important to us. We want something that looks really good as well as being great to play.
CLUB is designed as a next-generation fantasy football game, taking all of the best bits from the games we’ve loved in the past and adding some special sauce to take it to the next level.
In CLUB, you’ll step into the shoes of a club owner (or CO) and become responsible for all decisions about your club – so it’s got the feel of a ‘tycoon game’, rather than just being a case of lining up players each week like FPL.
The decisions you make will influence your CO personality, and of course will have a direct impact on things like the club sponsors, the training and youth facilities and your overall budget.
You will be allocated a transfer budget in our in-game currency and obviously one of your first and most important tasks will be to pull a squad together within that budget. The transfer market will be reactive in real-time, so picking players before they hit top form will give you an advantage and should reduce the number of ‘template teams’ in the game because the best players will quickly become out of reach to most clubs. We plan to feature the top five European leagues in the game from the outset.
So what’s your approach? Do you prioritise older players who will hit high scores so you can climb the league faster? Or younger players that might not get you results now but could help your transfer budget later on?
Wage mechanics and agent fees will kick in at the higher levels of the game too, just to add another element of difficulty. We want people to be able to buy the players that they want (within reason) but we want to see plenty of variance too.
Just to be clear, these are real players. We believe that real football fans care about real football players and their real-life performances, so that’s what CLUB is based around (with all the relevant licensing in place of course!). For me, it also means that knowledge acquired through other games, like FPL, FM and Sorare, can be useful on CLUB and massively reduces the amount of time needed to get your head around things when you get started.
The scoring system is in-depth and intuitive. Players get points for the big actions in a game like goals and assists, as well as points for their overall play. The scoring matrix adjusts to a player’s position, so that every type of player has the potential to score highly for a good performance (rather than certain positions being unduly penalised). You can choose your formation and where to play certain players (if that mirrors how their manager uses them in real life). For serious fantasy strategists, there’s plenty to get your teeth into here.
In simple terms, we want you to be able to line up a team that looks realistic and, after six months of in-house testing, we believe the scoring matrix passes the ‘eye test’ – so if you think a player played well, the CLUB scores will reflect that too.
Oh, and we’ll have an options to make live substitutions during the game – so your team isn’t dead if your star player doesn’t make it onto the pitch.
How to win?
CLUB is designed to reward your football knowledge and the time that you put into the game. I want to stress that it’s not a ‘pay to win’. When we say that it’s both ‘free to play’ and ‘play and earn’, we really do mean that, and you can read more about our feelings on that here.
There will be a league structure in CLUB. The better you play, the higher you climb. There will be opportunities to ‘win’ at various points – the season won’t simply follow the European timetable, so if you start later, you don’t miss out.
All COs will have an opportunity to play against each other (and perhaps in the future cooperatively too). Some COs will have minted their CLUB as an NFT, giving them the highest chance to win some of the best cosmetics in the game, which will be tradable as NFT themselves and potentially some other cool prizes too.
All COs, whether they own an NFT club or not, will have some chance of winning prizes and the best performing clubs will be invited to mint their club at a later stage, should they wish to. Minted clubs can be sold, so that’s one obvious way that you can benefit financially from your football knowledge.
As well as the usual leagues, there will be special events for things like the World Cup, and also competitive mini-games to hold your attention in between the usual fixtures.
The various in-game assets will allow you to customise your club and really make it your own. Badges, kits, stadiums, mascots – no two clubs will look the same. I’m pretty excited about the artwork and I think it’s one of the things that really sets CLUB apart from the other games I’ve seen in this space.
Using the NFT model for items like this means we can build in scarcity and desirability, so COs will have a tough choice to make about whether to hang onto the new kit they’ve been awarded or whether to sell it on the market for a profit.
There are so many mobile games out there that are just a time-sink and you get nothing back. We want to build a sustainable model where we share our rewards fairly with people playing the game.
This isn’t a model where we expect COs to be making a full-time wage from CLUB – that’s not our thing. We will priorise fun and engagement first (and bragging rights in the community) but also some opportunities for rewards along the way. In the future we’ll build in some tokenomics too but we want to focus on getting the gameplay right first, so that’s a little further down the line.
It’s worth pointing out here that the items you can win or buy in the game will be cosmetic. This stops CLUB from becoming a game where you can buy your way to the top and gives new entrants into the game a level-playing field with our veteran COs.
Having said that, we do want to reward our earliest adopters too…
We’re currently offering two Founding Club packages for sale. These have some specific benefits:
Both options get you into the early-access beta version of the game, meaning you’ll be one of the first people to test it out and give us your feedback. All Founding COs also get to reserve their chosen club name, meaning no one else can ever have that name!
Founding Meta COs get a package containing three NFTs, all of which will be tradable in the game and on Opensea in due course. The club badges are probably the most interesting part of that as they are all unique and a handful will be animated too.
We’re really early on the roadmap at the moment so it’s a great time to get involved if you want to shape the future of CLUB and if you believe in what we’re trying to do.
The sale is open for another few days so now is the time to take a look and see if it’s something you want to get involved in. We’re not pushing to sell out so any clubs that aren’t sold in the first phase will just be rolled over to the next one. The most important thing for us is to get Founding Clubs into the hands of real football fans; to reward our early supporters and get you into the game to provide us with the feedback we’ll need.
Find out more
We’ve just published the CLUB Litepaper. This provides a bit more information about the vision for the game, the game mechanics and the tokenomics that we hope to implement a little further down the line. Have a look and see what you think.
We held an AMA at the end of March which covered off a lot more of the detail about the game itself. You can listen back to that here.
Everything else you need to know is on the website: https://www.clubgame.app and in our Discord (which is nearly 3,000 strong). If you’ve got a burning question that hasn’t been answered, this is the place to ask it!
That’s it for now but expect to hear more from me on CLUB soon and I hope you’ll join me on the journey.