Ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the world governing football body, FIFA has announced a portfolio of web3 games to entertain football fans.
Altered State Machine, which is an AI League football game is one of the projects licensed by FIFA. Players act as the coach and owner of their AI teams, intending to improve abilities and trade characters to achieve the best talent combinations.
The second game is Upland, a blockchain-based metaverse for buying and selling virtual properties. Upland has now introduced FIFA World Cup digital assets and collectibles. Upland’s offering of digital collectibles appears to compete with FIFA+ Collect on the official website, developed in conjunction with official blockchain partner Algorand.
While both Upland and the FIFA+ Collect offerings involve non-fungible tokens (NFTs), FIFA has avoided using the NFT terminology, partly because crypto is considered niche and because some perceive NFTs as scams.
The announcement also mentions two games that the websites have yet to launch fully. Phygtl enables fans to co-create a digital reward using augmented reality. Fans can own a limited fragment of an augmented golden-globe-football with a chosen picture or video moment from the World Cup.
MatchDay is a prediction game based on football cards using the Solana blockchain. It sounds rather similar to the fantasy NFT game Sorare, with the games using NFT player cards to build a dream team.
Additionally, another World Cup sponsor, Crypto.com is also running fantasy football games on the official FIFA website.
The introduction of web3 games for FIFA is important in more ways than one, considering that these blockchain games are FIFA’s first initiatives since the end of its long-term partnership with EA.
In fact, the fantasy games available on the FIFA+ Playzone mirror the successful “Ultimate Team” game in the FIFA 22 video game. As EA revealed in its 2021 annual report, Ultimate Team generated $1.6 billion in net revenue across various sports, including the FIFA game.