Interview with Nicolas Julia, CEO of Sorare, the blockchain fantasy football game
If you do not yet know the blockchain fantasy football game Sorare, you will know everything about this innovative startup.
Nicolas Julia explains how this company based on gaming and blockchain technology was born, the challenges encountered as well as his favorite football team.
Can you introduce us to the team and how this blockchain fantasy football game was born?
We decided in 2018 to leave the company to create a game that could take crypto assets into the hands of millions of people.
We wanted to create something fun and accessible that couldn’t be done without blockchain technology.
We were fascinated by the emergence of NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens) and quickly we were convinced that they could allow the adoption of cryptos by the greatest number.
These applications (CryptoKitties was the first) are very concrete and easy to access.
We also noted that these first games were too centered around the collectible and lacked gameplay.
They also lacked mainstream appeal.
As football fans, we decided to create a game that takes advantage of these NFTs and is aimed at fans of the most popular sport in the world.
This is how Sorare was born, a world fantasy football in which fans can collect and play with NFTs under official license from football clubs and leagues.
The blockchain cards of football players are reminiscent of the concept of Panini cards, can you explain to us what Sorare is exactly?
Sorare is a fantasy football game in which you have to find the players who are going to be successful in real life, get their cards to be able to compose a team every week.
Depending on their performance on the field and the power of your cards, you score points and can win prizes every week.
Collectible cards are very popular in the physical world, but before blockchain and NFTs it was impossible to collect in the digital world. The very concept of digital scarcity did not exist.
Today, if we issue 10 editions of a Super Rare Mbappé card, the blockchain will authenticate and secure the fact that there will never be 11.
For the first time, we can collect digital items, and we think this will change the gaming industry.
In which countries and in which languages is the fantasy football game Sorare available?
The game is now available all over the world, in English and French.
We will deploy the Spanish in the coming weeks.
Are you a football fan and if so which team?
We are football fans, personally Olympique de Marseille.
How difficult has it been to attract football clubs to this whole new kind of concept and technology? How did the clubs react when you first contacted them?
Clubs see three advantages to licensing agreements with Sorare:
A new source of income.
An exposure on markets important for them where we are very present (US and Asia).
An innovative and engaging product for their fans.
How do you publicize your game in order to attract new users? Are you satisfied with the results so far?
So far, we have grown up with word of mouth and are quite impressed with the growth of users, only organically.
In particular, we have a very active community on Discord.
Did you do an ICO if not how do you finance this project?
We did not do an ICO because there was no need for our product.
We rely on the ERC-721 standard, non-fungible tokens on Ethereum.
The project is traditionally financed by American and European investment funds (notably that of Xavier Niel).
What difficulties did you encounter in launching this innovative project and in particular in France?
Access to an account in a French bank for our company. This is still not the case…
What advice would you give to an entrepreneur who would like to embark on a similar project?
Listen to community feedback every day and iterate to build a product that meets a need.
Take it step by step: already make sure 10 people are ready to sign up and play the product every week, understand who they are and why they are doing it. Then go to 100, 1000, …
What are the next steps for Sorare in 2020?
Speed up the number of partner clubs/leagues, double the size of the team.
If you want to know more about the Sorare football game: Sorare.com.