Fantasy sports beginners can rejoice. A trio of Santa Barbarans is making it easier to play fantasy football free of charge and still win big with the click of a button.
RotoLimbo, founded by Tommy Lutz Jr., Sam Dolan, and Mark Magid, is a pick-’em game where users pick the over-under on a fantasy player’s scoring projection and win points for each correct selection. Users with the most points earn cash prizes.
Unlike other popular fantasy sports sites like DraftKings and FanDuel that charge to play, RotoLimbo runs on a “freemium” business model. The site is funded by ads and in-app “coin” purchases used as credit to unlock more ways of gaining points or moving lines of players to up the chances of picking right.
“I knew that the fantasy sports industry was going kind of crazy. I wanted to see if I could turn it into a free-to-play game,” Lutz said. “It’s kind of evolved into a free pick-’em game where I’m now going to try to sell users to other sites.”
Fantasy players provided in the game are based on the top 60 highest projected players for that week. The formula is intended to eliminate the headache of researching numbers on the obscure third-string running back, a common turn-off for casual users and beginners playing in more traditional fantasy sports leagues.
“I was trying to make the gameplay simple, where you don’t have to know who Marquess Wilson on the Chicago Bears is to win,” Lutz said. “The gameplay is easy. When you think about it, it’s a 50-50.”
RotoLimbo is set up so users win prizes through weekly and season-long campaign modes with the same over-under formula used. Weekly users pick from a maximum of 60 players with points won going toward a weekly and season-total leaderboard.
For season-long campaign modes, users earn points by completing challenges in eight different levels that act as an NFL division. Levels unlock over the course of the season, but users can access levels sooner by sharing the game on Facebook or by using coins.
“One of the advantages of opening levels early with coins or sharing is each week you have every chance to get those picks right,” Lutz said. “You give yourself 12 weeks rather than eight weeks to get the picks right.”
Lutz plans to release the game in late July or early August to coincide with the start of the NFL season. The goal right now is to give away $2,000 per week and $25,000 at season’s end, but that estimated prize money will only increase with more prelaunch signups. More signups equals more prize money.
“It’s a good introduction to fantasy,” Dolan said. “It’s not hard to play, it’s fun, and you win free stuff. There’s no point not to play.”