FIFA has announced that the first games to use its branding following the end of its long-time partnership with EA will be Web 3.0 blockchain titles.
Four games will be released to coincide with FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, all of which are Web 3.0 titles and make use of blockchain tech in some way.
According to a press release by FIFA: “Gaming and esports are some of the fastest-growing opportunities for FIFA as it continues to expand into new digital spaces, platforms and games that are already welcoming football fans on to them.”
It adds: “The new gaming integrations, all of which are designed with web 3.0 and the future of digital engagement in mind, are playable around the tournament and each have a unique twist on the globe’s biggest football tournament.”
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The first game is AI League: FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Edition, developed by Altered State Machine, which is a “4-on-4 casual football game, played between AI-controlled characters, with player input at fun and tactical moments”.
According to a separate release by Altered State Machine, the game will launch with a 10-week prediction component, with “digital and physical prizes” available to those who correctly predict real-life matches.
Players who take part in the prediction game will then earn “four unique collectibles” who will become their AI-controlled players in the FIFA World Cup AI League.
The second is FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in the Upland Metaverse, which is a collaboration with Uplandme. Upland is a blockchain-based metaverse where players buy and sell virtual properties.
The FIFA collaboration will let players collect “official FIFA World Cup digital assets, including legendary video highlights of the tournament”, and travel to a virtual World Cup Lusail Stadium and Village to shop for digital items.
The third, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 on Phygtl, is a collaboration with “fan engagement mobile application” Phygtl.
The game’s description claims that “fans can augment a golden-globe-football from the palm of their hands into their real-life environment, own a limited fragment of it to attach and eternalize their handpicked FIFA World Cup pictures and video moments.”
This is, in FIFA’s words, “a digital representation of eternal fandom”.
Finally, the fourth game announced is Matchday Challenge: FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Edition. According to the press release, Matchday is a “highly engaging casual social prediction game based on football cards”.
FIFA recently split from its partner EA after nearly 30 years, with FIFA 23 being the last EA Sports game to feature the FIFA branding on the title.
Next year EA will be rebranding its series as EA Sports FC, claiming it will begin “a new era in July 2023”.
However, in a strongly worded statement in May, FIFA president Gianni Infantino insisted that only games carrying its official license would be credible to fans of football.
“I can assure you that the only authentic, real game that has the FIFA name will be the best one available for gamers and football fans,” he said.
“The FIFA name is the only global, original title. FIFA 23, FIFA 24, FIFA 25 and FIFA 26, and so on – the constant is the FIFA name and it will remain forever and remain THE BEST.”
In a separate May statement, FIFA said the split from EA would allow it to launch new football video games developed with third-party studios and publishers, “providing more choice for football and gaming fans” in the lead-up to FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
According to the footballing body, discussions were ongoing with “leading game publishers, media companies and investors” in regard to the development of a new FIFA simulation football game for 2024, which would directly compete with EA Sports FC.
It also claimed, however, that multiple “non-simulation” games were already under production and would launch during the third quarter of this year, the first of which was described as “a tailored gaming experience” featuring the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Unless other surprise titles are announced before the tournament begins on November 20, it would appear FIFA was referring to the above Web 3.0 titles.