I love baseball and have been playing it my whole life, yet, I sense our Country is losing interest in the long 162-game MLB season in what has traditional been known as America’s pastime because other life priorities are becoming more important and that is why GameSlam could not be coming into your technological reach soon enough.
Think about a play in a sports game like a Grand Slam or a Slam Dunk and how that brings you out of your chair and you will start to understand what GameSlam is doing. They have created a free online gaming Platform that is played with your PC or Mac and soon available via your IOS or Android devices that enables you to predict each next play in a Major League Baseball Game. If you predict it correctly, you earn points with the opportunities to win cash or trade them in for free stuff.
Aimed at the casual sports fans but serious enough for the hardcore Sports Techie, GameSlam is fun. I enjoyed playing the other day when my ESPN fantasy baseball team pitcher Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers was on the mound during a day game vs. the mighty Texas Rangers in game #1564. GameSlam VP of Marketing Michelle Kohler was nice enough to play from the Game Time Live Sports Services office in Chicago at the same time while showing me the ropes as I played from Seattle. How cool is that!
You can use your existing Facebook account to log onto www.gameslam.com and begin by downloading the Unity Web Player. GameSlam is in a Beta test mode so all the game options are not available yet, however, all MLB games are available to play in real-time right now.
Thanks to a partnership with STATS, LLC., the GameSlam Sim uses all the actual stats produced during a MLB game which makes the experience feel like you are at the ballpark with real players as you predict the next play outcome. GameSlam is not officially partnered with MLB so the avatars are not the real player’s faces. The graphic user interface is 3D though and has the look and feel of a real baseball game.
You can play other MLB games simultaneously while your first GameSlam game is under way. There is a Max limit of 100 users per game. Once a game has 100 users, another one becomes available until that 100 cap limit is met, and on and on. What is super nice is having the ability to create your own private game played with friends in your hometown or from anywhere in the world.
For the casual gamer, its as easy as using your 10,000 points to wager your prediction of game calls about whether a good or bad play will happen via a blue bar on the right and left side of the screen representing each team. If you are at home, in a bar or at the beach, this is easy and drama free.
There are Advanced Play features that make the game more interactive. In Advanced mode, you can predict an actual strike or ball, an out or even a homerun. Of course, this is a harder skill and as a result of maximizing your scoring opportunities in Advanced play-by-play, you earn more points. This is a one-time prediction, every new MLB play you have to do it again. More Game Play options will be rolled out soon giving the serious sports gamer opportunities the ability to challenge his or her GameSlam know-how.
The option is coming in about four weeks to allow for GameSlam micro-transactions which enables you to purchase virtual goods like avatars and other items such as killer swag that Michelle could not discuss until the Beta testing ends and the full game is released.
You might notice the GEICO logo inside the game and that is because they are the Beta game sponsors. GameSlam is in talks with other corporations who are interested in sponsoring this sportsbiz free to play game or what I might call, freemium.
Tournaments will be another way to engage users while creating revenue opportunities for GameSlam and cash prizes for the fans that play.
Michelle has good energy as does their Social Media and Marketing campaigns. Check out this edgy and fun Randy Johnson Ballography video via the GameSlamSports Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsiWSLcT-Tc. You can also find them via their Facebook page and Twitter user name here: http://twitter.com/GameSlam.
What is next for GameSlam? They will launch a Classic version of baseball. The GameSlam online community is very important to their business model so pay attention to that. Another plan is to synch with established fantasy sports game providers at some point soon. Finally, GameSlam will be available to play right on Facebook.
Michelle said, “There are lots of moving pieces.” When considering the challenge of formulating real-time MLB game updates while integrating with their proprietary algorithms, she is right.
NFL football is their next phase of development provided there is a season. College football is under consideration and perhaps even high school games way down their roadmap.
Any and all sports are possible for GameSlam to leverage into. I asked Michelle about localization in say Spanish or Japanese and her response was that it is under consideration. Good idea imo GameSlam. As MLB continues to attract fans from all over the globe while the US fan is diluted with so many other sports and life options, perhaps a Chinese or Italian version will become a source code and implementation priority.
Right now, GameSlam has 20-25 employees and are in a hiring mode for additional software engineers and sales people. The founders are Father and Son, Rick and Kenny Mazursky.
Interesting, I do remember playing QB1 that is now owned by Buzztime Trivia and predicting NFL football plays about two decades ago which means that while the GameSlam Platform is pioneering in its scope of connecting via personal technology devices rather than through a console, it is not an entirely new game format.
Look for my GameSlam user name, SportsTechie, and let’s get it on!