Dirk Weyel knows the gaming industry by heart. With almost 20 years of experience, he has witnessed the shift of gaming from a niche market to the multi-billion dollar business it is today. His deep understanding of the gaming industry and his business acumen helped him to lead his company Frogster to success. With games like „Runes of Magic“, Frogster was able to excite millions of users. The company was listed at the Frankfurt stock exchange before being sold to a large competitor at immense profits. A seasoned entrepreneur, Dirk founded Stryking Entertainment with the vision to combine the real world with the virtual. The company‘s main product is the Fantasy Sports platform Football-Stars. With an official license from the German Bundesliga and partnerships with Luís Figo, kicker magazine, sportdigital.tv, Football-Stars is a good candidate for Dirk‘s next success story.
Q) Hello Mr.Weyel, First can you tell us a little bit about your background in the gaming industry, your team and how Stryking Entertainment came to be?
Prior to Stryking Entertainment I co-founded Frogster Interactive, which we did grow into one of the leading online games publishers in Europe between 2006 and 2010 before we sold the company to one of our competitors for a valuation of $100 million in 2011. After seeing the rise of free-to play games, I was fascinated to use my knowledge in this space and see what can be done in with Fantasy Sports. After analysing the market, I realised there was a lot of room to leverage our knowledge, connections and experience from the free-to-play game space to create a compelling user experience for football fans. After looking at the football statistics available from data providers, I decided to assemble a team of mostly ex-Frogster colleagues. And that is how Stryking Entertainment was born.
Q) How do you think your past game development experiences brought you to where you are now into fantasy sports gaming and Football Stars?
My experience I would say is more focused on games publishing and the game industry overall. especially free-to play games. Our team has experience in community building, free-to-play game retention and engagement mechanics. The team is well versed in rolling out international online games, which are live 24/7 in various different languages. This knowledge gained at Frogster has been very transferable to our Fantasy Football platform – Football-Stars.
Q) Fantasy sports games have been around for quite some time but blockchain technology is really new. Why did you plan to integrate blockchain technology into your platform?
One of the main reasons was that we wanted to create a community driven platform, where users can play against each other and win a coin that can also be spent in real life. Essentially allowing football fans to have a platform where they decide exactly what they want and are rewarded in the process. Our aim is to allow the large fantasy football fanbase, that is spread across numerous media publishers, to be able to use one coin that can be used on multiple platforms and easily transferred across borders. Using blockchain technology was the easiest way to do this.
Q) We see that you already have established in game Coins to purchase both digital assets and real items. Are you planning to transition those to your new STRYKZ Token? Will this changeover affect your current gamers in anyway?
No we actually plan on keeping the original Coins in place, as we already have active users that we do not want to lose. Therefore there will still be challenges that will be free to play and challenges for our original coins, but we obviously will try to convert as many users as possible to our new crypto token.
Q) With the integration of your STRYKZ Token will there be the opportunity for gamers to purchase unique collectible assets and more interestingly will it allow the gamers make an actual profit by buying and selling over the Ethereum network?
In regards to spending STRYKZ we have so much planned. Not only will there be countless options for users to spend it on the platform, but also use it in real life. We are looking to partner up with sport clubs and brands, allowing fans to spend their tokens on for example merchandise or possibly even match tickets.
Q) Do you have plans to integrate blockchain technology other than only the Cryptocurrency aspect of it?
Yes, our plan is to integrate blockchain technology into various different aspects of the platform, including having a smart contract system in place to payout users. This would allow users to be paid out automatically as soon as they have won. By having the blockchain tech you would also be able to guarantee safe storage of all in-game digital assets.
Q) We have already seen some blockchain game developers fail with their own ICO and Token sales. How have you prepared yourselves to avoid and protect you and your investors from this happening?
We have been spreading the word about our upcoming token sale at many different trade shows and conferences over the past few months. The feedback has been great and we have had some very interesting talks with well-known institutional investors. Additionally, having True Global Ventures as our lead equity investor with more than 40 partners around the world provides us with an immense network that we are able to leverage.
Q) Football Stars has secured amazing partnerships with elite football organizations and companies in Germany. But since Football (Soccer) is the most popular sport in the world do you eventually plan on expanding your platform internationally? Will you only focus on European football?
Yes, we definitely plan on expanding internationally. For this reason we have already done a roadshow through Asia, where we gained a lot of interest. Our platform is adaptable to almost any market and language. We therefore will be rolling out our platform to all football-loving markets, especially European, Asian and South American, although this would not have to be under our own brand. For example German Pay TV broadcaster Sportdigital is already using a white label version of our product. We plan on taking a similar approach abroad, for example partnering up with media stations who already have an existing user base.
Q) Stryking Entertainment is already on the right track but what achievements and goals would you like to hit in 5 to 10 years?
5 to 10 years is a very long time in our industry. Over the next few years we hope to see Football-Stars grow into the biggest football community platform on the globe with a truly user-centric approach. Our aim is also to have some of the biggest sport media stations around the world running a white label product of our platform, with a diverse range of different sports implemented. Additionally, we wish to have partnerships with some of Europe’s biggest football clubs and sport brands, allowing users to spend their STRYKZ on items such as merchandise, match tickets, pay-per-view memberships and many more.
We’d like to thank Mr.Dirk Weyel very much for taking the time out of his busy schedule to talk with Blockchaingamer for this exclusive interview.
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