Worldwide soccer organization FIFA is sticking around in the world of video games. After it and EA terminated their agreement to license the league's brand for the FIFA video game series, the organization has announced that it is partnering with new partners in the video game world—all of whom are making games using blockchain technology.
The four companies FIFA is partnering with are Uplandme, Matchday, Phygtl, and Altered State Machine. Altered State Machine is the only one of these companies producing an original video game, while the other three brands are integrating FIFA branding into their respective blockchain platforms.
It's notable that FIFA's newest video game partners are not in the world of traditional sports simulation titles. The organization has promised to launch its own soccer simulation game by 2024, but it wasted no time in looking for new video game markets to license its brand to.
Altered State Machine are the creators of AI League: FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Edition, a 4v4 casual soccer game played by AI-controlled characters. Altered State Machine's blockchain gimmick is that players can "own" artificial intelligences tied to NFTs. Altered State Machine has already used this technology in two sports-adjacent titles: AIFA and Muhammad Ali: The Next Legends.
Uplandme's metaverse platform Upland will be adding a series of official FIFA World Cup digital assets (including video highlights from the tournament), and recreating the official World Cup Lusail Stadium and Village in its in-game world. Phygtl is a blockchain-based augmented reality app that will let players own a "limited fragment" of a digital object.
Lastly, Matchday is a blockchain-anchored "social prediction" app that uses digital trading cards to let players predict the outcome of matches (which sounds an awful lot like gambling if you ask me).
FIFA Chief Business Officer Romy Gai called these partnerships "hugely exciting" in a statement, explaining that the organization is now able to target "digitally-native" soccer fans in spaces they are already active in. He also boasted that web3 would "have an important role to play" in the organization's future.