New FIFA games: Football Association relies on Web 3.0

Actually, everyone is waiting for the competing product to EA SPORTS FC that FIFA has announced. But first there are Web 3.0 games. We explain what that is and why money plays a big role.

As part of the World Cup, FIFA announced new games with Web 3.0 partners.

FIFA

Instead of presenting a football simulation, FIFA presented “Web 3.0 games”. The former is actually expected, because the long-term partnership between EA SPORTS and FIFA is coming to an end. FIFA 2023 is the last of its kind, after which EA will continue alone with the “EA SPORTS Football Club”.

As far as a new football simulation is concerned, FIFA is still silent, but has now presented its own games. These run as “Web 3.0” applications. An elusive buzzword that essentially describes current internet technology based on decentralization, blockchains and NFTs. This is important to understand in order to understand FIFA’s approach.

Press conference during the Non-Fungible Castle 2022 in The House of Lobkowicz, Prague, Czech Republic, October 27, 2022. NFC will explore how blockchain technology can be used to rediscover, share, and preserve our cultural identities.  Non-Fungible Castle represents different artistic forms of expression, serving as a permanent record and provide a platform to discuss how the artworld can use blockchain technology to celebrate our heritage, build a community of cultural stewards, and encourage storytelling to reconnect with our cultural roots.  (CTK Photo/Roman Vondrous)

NFTs are unique digital content, often images or player cards.
picture alliance/dpa/CTK

Web 3.0 describes the current level of development of the Internet, which wants to free itself from “walled gardens”, ie fenced-in places that are dominated by large corporations. Namely Google, Facebook, Amazon and similar. It’s about places on the web that can be accessed via different devices and that don’t belong to the cosmos of the big ones, but where each individual user can own a small piece.

Blockchains are particularly well known from cryptocurrencies, NFTs are very popular when it comes to buying and selling online. Such “non-fungible tokens” are unique items based on blockchain technology that users sometimes trade for a lot of money.

The FIFA and Web 3.0 games

Back to FIFA. Money is of course the keyword here, because NFTs are involved in the new FIFA projects. There is always a monetization claim behind the games. “Gaming and eSports are among the fastest growing opportunities for FIFA as they continue to expand into new digital realms, platforms and games that are already attracting football fans,” the association said in a statement.

Romy Gai, FIFA Chief Business Officer, said: “This is an extremely exciting set of partnerships that we have entered into as we target and interact with a new, digitally rooted football fan in the fields we know are they are already active there.”

The publications at a glance:

Altered State Machine – AI League: FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Edition

AI League is a casual 4v4 soccer game played between AI-controlled characters, where the player can intervene in gameplay and tactical moments. Players take on the role of trainer and owner of their AI teams and can improve their skills through power-ups and training. Players can also collect and trade characters to create a team with their favorite talent combinations. The courts are set in stylized streetball locations around the world, from Paris to Rio, Yaoundé to Seoul.

During the World Cup, the whole thing works like a betting game – for rewards. After the tournament, Altered State Machine can then be purchased for a fee. Presumably, power-ups will cost money, players will be NFTs, and so real and virtual money will be involved at every turn.

Upland.me – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at the Upland Metaverse

Upland is a blockchain-based metaverse modeled after the real world where players can buy and sell virtual properties. Real estate also generates virtual income. So it’s about money again.

Official digital items from the World Cup can be collected for the cooperation with FIFA, including video highlights of the tournament. Players can travel to the Lusail World Cup replica stadium and buy items in their colors to decorate their Upland home, trade with friends, or win prizes.

Matchday – Matchday Challenge: FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Edition

Matchday aims for the emotional pinnacle of soccer excitement by offering an addictive soccer card based prediction game where the fun isn’t just in “getting right” but in being the best among friends.

The whole thing looks like a mixture of fantasy league and sorare, and of course it also deals with NFTs again.

Phygtl – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 on Phygtl

An experience where fans come together to create the world’s first digital reward for fans. Fans can create a golden soccer ball, own a unique fragment of it, and attach and immortalize their handpicked FIFA World Cup images and video moments.

This is about a huge NFT that players put together from many small personal NFTs. As described, videos can be linked to the fragments, making them truly unique. Contributed to the golden football, they bring points which, according to Phygtl, can be used for further content after the World Cup.

Without a basic understanding of Web 3.0, it is difficult to penetrate this strategy. FIFA relies on content that is particularly trendy at the moment and could probably establish itself. According to Facebook, Metaverses are the next big thing – in general, all games have money to be made. But for football fans, combining fun with learning could be a good move. All matches can be found under the names given on the websites of the FIFA partners.

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