(ORLANDO, Fla. April 27, 2017) As the consumption patterns of sports fans change and interest in esports continues to grow at a double-digit rate, a new mobile product called HypSports brings all sports fans together in a year-round, competitive, social fantasy sports platform.
Designing the new app is a team of industry veterans, led by Mike Taramykin, a video game executive who previously led sports product development at EA SPORTS, Zynga, and FanDuel.
“The sports world is evolving in two major ways,” says Taramykin, CEO of HypGames. “First, the way people watch sports is changing, with more fans choosing to engage digitally and in an interactive manner. Second, the very definition of what is considered a sport is changing, as is evident with the rapid growth of esports.
“What’s interesting to us is that both trends are primarily driven by younger fans. So we created HypSports as a way to bridge the gap between sports and esports and drive competition for sports fans of all ages.”
Taramykin and his team are responsible for more than two decades of hit video game development. Their first company, Hypnotix, created the popular Outlaw Sports series in the late ‘90s before being acquired by Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: “EA”) in 2005. At EA SPORTS, Taramykin was the vice president and general manager of the Tiger Woods PGA TOUR franchise and launched the first groundbreaking free-to-play versions of Madden NFL. From there, the team went on to lead new product innovation at Zynga (NASDAQ: “ZNGA”) and Fanduel, before returning to their entrepreneurial roots with HypSports.
HypSports leverages its founders’ experience by utilizing proven game mechanics to drive season long fan engagement of live sports. The way the platform works is simple; fans visit the app daily to acquire new athletes for their rosters. These athletes can then be entered into lineups that compete directly against other fans’ selections. Scoring is based on the real-world stats of each athlete, similar to fantasy sports but with a variety of innovative improvements.
Unlike traditional fantasy sports, where rosters are either determined upfront with a draft, or created daily from scratch, a HypSports roster grows over the course of a season, allowing fans to constantly improve their lineups and their chances of winning.
Another HypSports innovation is that fans can benefit from playing multiple sports at the same time because virtual prizes earned in one sport can be used to benefit their rosters in another. With the help of detailed stats and user-friendly features like the Best Lineup button, fans of all knowledge levels can be competitive, and win. In fact, more than 80 percent of HypSports users actively play multiple sports simultaneously.
“We understand how to appeal to the digital sports fan because over the years we’ve seen the industry from multiple vantage points,” Taramykin says. “Our team has had a front row seat to the development of leading console, mobile, and fantasy sports games, and that’s given us a truly unique perspective.”
Currently, HypSports offers competitive play in major sports like basketball, baseball, and football. Starting this summer, esports leagues will be added as well so fans can compete using players from their favorite esports teams.
The growth of esports has been massive. In 2016, an estimated 215 million people viewed esports coverage around the world. In 2014, more than 27 million people watched the League of Legends Championship – nearly twice as many viewers as the NBA Finals or the World Series.
Furthermore, the esports viewer is young, with 61 percent of the U.S. audience under 25 years of age, according to 2016 analysis.
The sports eco-system is evolving and HypSports believes that the key to attracting digitally engaged fans is making them feel like they are part of the action, and not just watching from the sidelines. By combining the proven retention mechanics of hit mobile games, the evergreen appeal of professional sports and esports, and the naturally competitive nature of sports fans, the HypSports platform turns spectators into competitors and delivers year-round excitement to every fan.