The passion with which so many basketball fans flock to social media sites has been rewarded once more. Just months ago, Lionside launched the first online sports game, NBA Legend, in which users on Facebook would create a player, enter the league, and follow a career through the league. Now, NBA Digital and Playdom have taken the next logical step and announced today the launch of NBA Dynasty, another social game also on Facebook with the salient difference of focusing on an entire team.Whereas in ‘Legend’, a user would make an avatar and acquire skills through practices in order to became an individual star in the league, playing against others online, ‘Dynasty’ takes that idea a step further an allows users to create and manage a franchise. The user will act less as a player and more as a coach/manager/owner hybrid, creating the greatest team while building up a strong fan base.
The game looks to be as realistic as possible, having users implement coaching strategies, build arenas, market to fans, and act-quickly as the coach throughout the game. In order to build up accolades, users will play their team against others online, competing with friends and strangers around the world. As the game is partnered with the NBA, users will have access to countless videos, updated rosters, and breaking news. On the other side of this tandem is Playdom, a social gaming group with a portfolio that includes College Town, Sorority Life, and City of Wonder, among others.
The NBA is by far the most popular sport online; that is, it has the most fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter, respectively, and it is the one league (of the main sports) that allows fans to post any videos to YouTube without infringement. Basketball enthusiasts were quick to respond to the first online NBA game; with the speed by which ‘Legend’ gained popularity, the future looks bright for ‘Dynasty.’
It will be interesting to see how users flock to and between to the NBA games; they may not yet be mutually exclusive. The closest parallel would be the Madden series, which while not played solely online, allows users to connect to with one another while playing on a home console. More importantly, though, is that gamers often don’t solely play in one format. That is, there is as much novelty and enjoyment in commanding a team in franchise mode over the years as there is playing as an individual player and trying to make the team.
If there is not an NBA season next year (at least not a full one) as many sports journalists are forecasting, at least the fervid online fan base will have some basketball with which to be engaged.