Nike has struck a deal with Electronic Arts that paves the way for the introduction of NFTs to the publisher’s sports games.
The deal will see “virtual creations” from Nike’s .Swoosh Web3 platform integrated into future EA Sports games, according to a press release from the sportswear giant.
“Nike’s new partnership with EA Sports will look to build new immersive experiences and unlock brand new levels of customization within the EA Sports ecosystem,” it said.
“In future EA Sports titles, EA Sports and Nike plan to make select .Swoosh virtual creations available allowing members and players unique new opportunities for self-expression and creativity through sport and style.”
— .SWOOSH (@dotSWOOSH) June 1, 2023
The announcement doesn’t specifically mention NFTs, which are unique non-interchangeable units of data stored on a blockchain (a form of digital ledger), which effectively allow users to own, buy and sell digital goods such as in-game items or artwork.
However, .Swoosh released its first NFT sneaker collection last month and it has surpassed $1 million in sales, according to CoinDesk. Nike’s platform launched last November and remains in closed beta.
In a statement issued to IGN, EA said it isn’t planning to offer NFTs as part of its deal with Nike.
“EA Sports is not offering NFTs,” a spokesperson said. “We’re collaborating with Nike to look at how we can bring their unique .Swoosh digital items into future EA Sports experiences with unique player utility.”
EA CEO Andrew Wilson said in November 2021 that NFTs could be “an important part of our – of the future of our industry”, although a few months later he suggested the company wasn’t prioritising adding them to its games.
Nike said further details on the partnership will be made available in the coming months. They could arrive in July, when EA plans to reveal its FIFA successor, EA Sports FC.
“All of us at EA Sports are focused on leading the next evolution in sports fandom, and this new collaboration with our longtime partners at Nike sits directly at the intersection of innovation, sport, and culture,” said Andrea Hopelain, SVP of brand for EA Sports and Racing.
“Working with .Swoosh, we’ll bring creativity and self-expression to the forefront for fans as they connect, compete and share their love for sport.”