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No more Classic (and no more ISO)

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bspittles
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No more Classic (and no more ISO)

Post by bspittles »

Just had an email to say OFL will only be running their auction game from next season. Very sad news :-(

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Re: No more Classic (and no more ISO)

Post by sts »

its very bad news. 10 years of my life :(((((((((((((((((
it was last world wide game
:(((

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Re: No more Classic (and no more ISO)

Post by Rick »

Sad news indeed when the company which first introduced fantasy football to this country is no longer interested in running a pay to play competition with decent prizes.

I think that leaves us with just 3 decent comps now, down from over 20 when FF was in it's heyday.

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Re: No more Classic (and no more ISO)

Post by forestfan »

Rick wrote:Sad news indeed when the company which first introduced fantasy football to this country is no longer interested in running a pay to play competition with decent prizes.

I think that leaves us with just 3 decent comps now, down from over 20 when FF was in it's heyday.
The FPL monster has just devoured all its competition over the past decade... free entry and millions of players tells its own story of how it changed the market. Can see the time coming when it's the only "mainstream" game left, with only small niche market games as alternatives.

If people want to pay they'll go for football betting instead, in the most part.

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No more Classic (and no more ISO)

Post by Maldini »

And perversely, FPL is far and away the most abysmally dull game there is.

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Re: RE: No more Classic (and no more ISO)

Post by murf »

Maldini wrote:And perversely, FPL is far and away the most abysmally dull game there is.
Never played OFL but have to agree about FPL. Far too robotic

Sorry for you devotees, I know how I felt when my favourite (TFFO) went and I only really played that for 2 years.

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Re: No more Classic (and no more ISO)

Post by forestfan »

Haven't played the main OFL game for a long time, though done a few over the years based on their scoring system which I really like due to its simplicity. It's the first format I knew (via the old Times game) and for me, despite years of TFF, my FF first language is still "3 for a goal, 2 for an assist, 3 for a clean sheet".

I think they've been in gradual decline since they split with the Times though, which was what, probably pushing 15 years ago? :? That was their mass market game, the replacement Times game was crap and it's some years since that paper even ran one I think, so it didn't really work out for either party to go their separate ways.

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Re: No more Classic (and no more ISO)

Post by Rick »

OFL originally ran the Telegraph game, when I won a sub prize back in 97/98 they ran it. I remember you had to do transfers by post, enclosing one stamp per transfer. Only 12 per season too. I think they changed soon after that and OFL moved on to the Times.

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Re: RE: No more Classic (and no more ISO)

Post by Malrom »

murf wrote:
Maldini wrote:And perversely, FPL is far and away the most abysmally dull game there is.
Never played OFL but have to agree about FPL. Far too robotic

Sorry for you devotees, I know how I felt when my favourite (TFFO) went and I only really played that for 2 years.
TFFO was simply the best ever! :shock: :shock:

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Re: No more Classic (and no more ISO)

Post by Malrom »

Rick wrote:OFL originally ran the Telegraph game, when I won a sub prize back in 97/98 they ran it. I remember you had to do transfers by post, enclosing one stamp per transfer. Only 12 per season too. I think they changed soon after that and OFL moved on to the Times.
I remember that one too
I sent my transfers to a friend (email) in Enlgand and he did for me. You could also ring them, when I remember that correctly.
Interesting times ....... not interested Times

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A Brief History of Time

Post by Mr Green »

Rick wrote:Sad news indeed when the company which first introduced fantasy football to this country is no longer interested in running a pay to play competition with decent prizes.
"No longer interested" is a bit harsh - the reasons were explained on the email but ultimately no longer makes financial sense to run.

Fantasy League did indeed bring fantasy football to the UK, starting with what is now known as the Auction game in 1991/2 (although there were a select number of "trial leagues" the previous season).

The first "Classic" format game was in '90 Minutes' magazine a year or so later and first published in the Daily Telegraph during the 1993/94 season (Boxing Day 1993, to be exact) - when more than a million first class stamps were received as payment! Needless to say, it was only a week or two before other newspapers jumped on the bandwagon...

As suggested, the Telegraph then opted to run the game themselves from 1998/9, with Fantasy League then joining forces with The Times, and subsequently producing games for other newspaper and media establishments/publishers.

So, yes, the end of an era to some extent, but for those for whom cash prizes aren't the be all and end all (which admittedly does rule out a sizeable proportion on the FISO forum), then the Auction game comes highly recommended.

Indeed, I've never looked back since converting from the "Solo" (now Classic) format in 1992/93 to my first taste of "Pro" (Auction) in the form of the 'Big and Bouncy Midlands League' - for which we were 8-10 "trialists" put together by Fantasy League and arranged an auction during the summer of 1993 at Warwick University. A strikeforce of Cole, Ferdinand and Shearer ensured a triumphant debut season...

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Re: No more Classic (and no more ISO)

Post by quizking »

I'm wondering that if there was a tie-in with another media publisher, interested company or bookmaker (as you've had in the past - BBC, channel 4, AOL, CSSC, elephant, and irish times to name a few from memory) that there might still be an OFL game with prizes (put up by a sponsor)?
I don't see the point of a competition without cash prizes though - an analogy would be playing poker for matchsticks.

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Re: No more Classic (and no more ISO)

Post by forestfan »

quizking wrote:I don't see the point of a competition without cash prizes though - an analogy would be playing poker for matchsticks.
Well, with an auction game you each pay into your own private prize pool, and the winner (or however many places you decide) takes the pot...

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Re: A Brief History of Time

Post by AJB1971 »

Mr Green wrote:
Rick wrote:Sad news indeed when the company which first introduced fantasy football to this country is no longer interested in running a pay to play competition with decent prizes.
"No longer interested" is a bit harsh - the reasons were explained on the email but ultimately no longer makes financial sense to run.

Fantasy League did indeed bring fantasy football to the UK, starting with what is now known as the Auction game in 1991/2 (although there were a select number of "trial leagues" the previous season).

The first "Classic" format game was in '90 Minutes' magazine a year or so later and first published in the Daily Telegraph during the 1993/94 season (Boxing Day 1993, to be exact) - when more than a million first class stamps were received as payment! Needless to say, it was only a week or two before other newspapers jumped on the bandwagon...

As suggested, the Telegraph then opted to run the game themselves from 1998/9, with Fantasy League then joining forces with The Times, and subsequently producing games for other newspaper and media establishments/publishers.

So, yes, the end of an era to some extent, but for those for whom cash prizes aren't the be all and end all (which admittedly does rule out a sizeable proportion on the FISO forum), then the Auction game comes highly recommended.

Indeed, I've never looked back since converting from the "Solo" (now Classic) format in 1992/93 to my first taste of "Pro" (Auction) in the form of the 'Big and Bouncy Midlands League' - for which we were 8-10 "trialists" put together by Fantasy League and arranged an auction during the summer of 1993 at Warwick University. A strikeforce of Cole, Ferdinand and Shearer ensured a triumphant debut season...
Mr Green, you seem to be particularly well informed. I note that you list your location as Squawka HQ. Do you happen to work for Squawka or Fantasy League as both now operate from the same premises?

My understanding is that the partnership between Fantasy League and Squawka, announced in July 2016, was supposed to result in the game being relaunched for the 2017/18 season. There was certainly evidence of improvements to the Classic website during this season. The first time that had happened in many seasons.

I know the number of teams has decreased in recent seasons. There’s probably less than 7,000 this season and I remember it being well over 30,000. I suppose that’s hardly surprising given the increased competition, website issues and a lack of marketing.

Squawka claim to have over 6m plus unique users a day, all football fans. As a fast growing, but loss making business, they were looking to monetise that user base. The partnership with Fantasy League appeared to be the perfect opportunity for both parties. Fantasy League had the experience of running the game and Squawka could provide the user base and marketing expertise.

It appears that the partnership has ended before Squawka has even marketed the game to its users.

As an insider, I wondered if you could provide any insight into what really happened?

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A Brief History of Time (cont.)

Post by Mr Green »

AJB1971 wrote: Mr Green, you seem to be particularly well informed. I note that you list your location as Squawka HQ. Do you happen to work for Squawka or Fantasy League as both now operate from the same premises?

My understanding is that the partnership between Fantasy League and Squawka, announced in July 2016, was supposed to result in the game being relaunched for the 2017/18 season. There was certainly evidence of improvements to the Classic website during this season. The first time that had happened in many seasons.

I know the number of teams has decreased in recent seasons. There’s probably less than 7,000 this season and I remember it being well over 30,000. I suppose that’s hardly surprising given the increased competition, website issues and a lack of marketing.

Squawka claim to have over 6m plus unique users a day, all football fans. As a fast growing, but loss making business, they were looking to monetise that user base. The partnership with Fantasy League appeared to be the perfect opportunity for both parties. Fantasy League had the experience of running the game and Squawka could provide the user base and marketing expertise.

It appears that the partnership has ended before Squawka has even marketed the game to its users.

As an insider, I wondered if you could provide any insight into what really happened?
Yes, I (wrongly) assumed that all FISOers knew that I am still primarily concerned with Fantasy League products within my role at Squawka.

Website performance has certainly improved this season and pleased it has been noticed - although there have been a few repercussions following a recent move/upgrade of servers, which was disappointing but has been acted upon.

It was actually a touch and go decision as to whether Fantasy League/Squawka would run Classic for 16/17, but was decided to go with it. Classic entries are slightly down on last season (as you suggest, has been a downward trend for several seasons), but hardly surprising considering that the product was launched with little notice around mid-July and there was minimal marketing, at least externally.

The partnership of Fantasy League and Squawka is very much still in place. However, the factors explained on Andrew's email means that reaching the breakeven point for Classic is no longer guaranteed for 17/18 (either with or without prizes) and neither party is in a position to run the game as a "loss leader". Hence the decision to discontinue to product to re-focus on the Auction game.

Sunday, 21 May will be a sad day for Fantasy League Classic - like I said, I had my own first taste of fantasy football playing the "Solo" format back in 1992. That being said, it was my gateway to the big league (Auction) from which I haven't looked back...

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Re: A Brief History of Time (cont.)

Post by Vid »

Mr Green wrote: Yes, I (wrongly) assumed that all FISOers knew that I am still primarily concerned with Fantasy League products within my role at Squawka.
Newbies wandering in here all the time, most won't even know that you used to be Mr Pink!

OFL started going downhill when you brought in the max 5 transfers and stopped my £500/ month income supplement :D

I'll add at the time it allowed me to eat decent food for most of the season, going through a rough patch.

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Re: No more Classic (and no more ISO)

Post by AJB1971 »

Thanks for the response.

I’m not a regular on these forums and wasn’t aware of your position. I hadn’t looked at your post history before I posted.

I am surprised at the timing of the decision. I was aware of Fantasy League’s financial issues, but hoped that the partnership with Squawka would secure the game, at least until the end of next season.

It seemed inevitable that without any marketing the number of teams would continue to decrease this season. The website performance was terrible last season and it had also been bad the previous season. Even core Fantasy League players became disillusioned and left.

I can understand your decision not to promote the game this season. The deal was done too late and I’m sure you wanted to be certain that the website could handle the increased traffic and deliver a good user experience, but ending the game before the relaunch seems like a missed opportunity.

The Auction game may be more appealing to you because of the lower cost base, but I think it will be a harder sell for your users. It’s much more expensive, aimed at groups, and the rules are more complicated. I think it’s more likely to appeal to those who’ve already played the Classic game.

As I said previously, there are currently around 7,000 teams playing Classic this season, which probably equates to just 2,000-3,000 people because most players enter several teams. In October 2015 Squawka announced that, ‘over 6m fans worldwide view our content every day.’ This is far greater than the circulation of any newspapers currently running games. You wouldn’t have to convert many of those users to make the game viable again.

I hope it’s a success, but I won’t be moving to the Auction game. It doesn’t really appeal to me. I put up with the website issues because I liked the Classic game, but I’ll be looking for an alternative.

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Re: No more Classic (and no more ISO)

Post by bspittles »

The auction game is great, if you can find some local rules to keep it interesting for struggling managers.

But it's way too expensive.

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Re: RE: Re: No more Classic (and no more ISO)

Post by murf »

bspittles wrote:The auction game is great, if you can find some local rules to keep it interesting for struggling managers.

But it's way too expensive.
"The kids of today" think everything in the internet should be free. That has spread to FF participation due to FPL and the knock on reduced cost of TFF etc. I remember TFF being £5 a team and still thinking it was good value for 9 months of pleasure. It was!
Nowadays only those who view FF as a business or form of gamble see that and will pay to play. These are all, generally, established players and there will be no new blood.
I know TFF, Draft Kings etc have launched higher priced short term games but they haven't hit mainstream poularity yet (I'm no expert but don't they generally promise short term return?).
The demise of any game without SERIOUS media backing (PL website counting as media) is almost guaranteed I'm afraid.
Am I wrong Mr Pink?

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Re: No more Classic (and no more ISO)

Post by forestfan »

It's interesting how TFF has stayed pretty constant at about 250,000 entries for all the time I've been playing it (around 15 years) but they must make a fraction of the income in terms of entry fees now, with all the free/multiple team deals!

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Re: RE: Re: No more Classic (and no more ISO)

Post by bspittles »

murf wrote:
bspittles wrote:The auction game is great, if you can find some local rules to keep it interesting for struggling managers.

But it's way too expensive.
"The kids of today" think everything in the internet should be free. That has spread to FF participation due to FPL and the knock on reduced cost of TFF etc. I remember TFF being £5 a team and still thinking it was good value for 9 months of pleasure. It was!
The Auction game is £27 - £39 per team, with no prize money. The software is already written (okay, may need tweaking during each close season), so surely it could be that price per league instead? That would enable leagues to create their own prize funds.

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The Old and the New

Post by Mr Green »

murf wrote: "The kids of today" think everything in the internet should be free. That has spread to FF participation due to FPL and the knock on reduced cost of TFF etc. I remember TFF being £5 a team and still thinking it was good value for 9 months of pleasure. It was!
Nowadays only those who view FF as a business or form of gamble see that and will pay to play. These are all, generally, established players and there will be no new blood.
I know TFF, Draft Kings etc have launched higher priced short term games but they haven't hit mainstream poularity yet (I'm no expert but don't they generally promise short term return?).
The demise of any game without SERIOUS media backing (PL website counting as media) is almost guaranteed I'm afraid.
Am I wrong Mr Pink?
Yes, that's a fair summary. Indeed, a few years ago, the real-life main character of the short film "Silly Little Games" (based on the creation of rotisserie baseball) once congratulated Andrew, the Fantasy League founder, on being the only person he was aware of that had actually made any money from running fantasy sports games!

For those who haven't seen it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG4EkSvuLm4

18-25 year-olds of today think nothing of blowing £50 on a night out, yet wouldn't part with a tenner for a season-long fantasy game over the likes of FPL unless it came personally recommended. Mind you, even rival free-to-play games are struggling with the FPL bandwagon.

Hence, the long-standing Fantasy League customers and the youth of today are completely different animals (as proven by the Squawka audience which are very much the latter) and therein lies the ongoing challenge...

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OFL future

Post by SamD »

Glad to see your contributions, Mr Green, both now and in past seasons.

Would welcome news on the Golf game (which some of us regard as FL's best offering). Is there any chance of a return after last year's sabbatical? Here's hoping...

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Re: No more Classic (and no more ISO)

Post by coleridge »

Very Sad to see this go. Ofl was always my favourite format in its various guises and usually came with the realistic hope of a prize or two.

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OFL Future (cont.)

Post by Mr Green »

SamD wrote:Glad to see your contributions, Mr Green, both now and in past seasons.

Would welcome news on the Golf game (which some of us regard as FL's best offering). Is there any chance of a return after last year's sabbatical? Here's hoping...
Unfortunately not - with Squawka solely concerned with digitial content for football, a golf game isn't in keeping with the brand.

Alas, I miss it, too...although not so much the late night updates!

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Re: No more Classic (and no more ISO)

Post by quizking »

I've mentioned this to both Matt and Guy at fantasyleague/squawka over the last few weeks - if they could combine the design and graphic interface of the squawka matchboss game (which I think is the best looking game currently on the market) with a traditional fantasy football format, they would be on to a winner. Unfortunately (imho) the matchboss game, although it looks great, doesn't currently have many elements of skill, planning, or strategy, and no budgetary considerations whatever - it's just guessing from a list of players.

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Re: No more Classic (and no more ISO)

Post by bspittles »

quizking wrote:I've mentioned this to both Matt and Guy at fantasyleague/squawka over the last few weeks - if they could combine the design and graphic interface of the squawka matchboss game (which I think is the best looking game currently on the market) with a traditional fantasy football format, they would be on to a winner. Unfortunately (imho) the matchboss game, although it looks great, doesn't currently have many elements of skill, planning, or strategy, and no budgetary considerations whatever - it's just guessing from a list of players.
I'm surprised to hear you say that. Matchboss is a good fun game, but the iPad interface is dreadful :-(

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Re: No more Classic (and no more ISO)

Post by quizking »

Ah, well it looks good on a regular laptop - and unlike many other games, doesn't feature popups or ads, or cause screen crashes (at least not on firefox).

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Re: No more Classic (and no more ISO)

Post by Rick »

bspittles wrote:
quizking wrote:I've mentioned this to both Matt and Guy at fantasyleague/squawka over the last few weeks - if they could combine the design and graphic interface of the squawka matchboss game (which I think is the best looking game currently on the market) with a traditional fantasy football format, they would be on to a winner. Unfortunately (imho) the matchboss game, although it looks great, doesn't currently have many elements of skill, planning, or strategy, and no budgetary considerations whatever - it's just guessing from a list of players.
I'm surprised to hear you say that. Matchboss is a good fun game, but the iPad interface is dreadful :-(
I'm surprised too, I really enjoy it, best new comp of the season. If there is no skill in Matchboss then there is no skill in any fantasy comp. No much but a little, probably 90% luck 10% skill, just like any weekly comp.
Last edited by Rick on 05 May 2017, 18:35, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: No more Classic (and no more ISO)

Post by Britinus »

Guess all my mouse mats and medals will appreciate now then, earliest being 2002/3. :lol:
shame it's not going to run anymore though, was my favourite .

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