EA Sports and Nike Virtual Studios have announced a new partnership that will look to add Nike's .SWOOSH virtual creations a.k.a. NFTs to future EA Sports games.
EA announced the news in a blog, saying, "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." The details of exactly how this will manifest in future games were unclear, but a short video on Twitter from .SWOOSH visualized a bit as to what fans can expect.
— .SWOOSH (@dotSWOOSH) June 1, 2023
.SWOOSH used the Polygon blockchain to secure the Nike virtual creations, and the example in the above video shows a black football helmet with the Nike logo and a purple visor. The helmet appears on a digital card of sorts that says when it was purchased and the unique ID the "virtual creation" has.
This signifies this item is unique and tied to a specific person and, theoretically, will be able to be used in a future Madden game. The video also features branded footballs alongside three different soccer balls which appear to indicate this very well may integrate with EA Sports FC, the soccer game formerly known as FIFA.
NFTs, blockchain, and Web 3 have all been controversial in the gaming space and beyond, and many companies walked back their support of them after they faced criticism for doing so. Some studios even signed an anti-NFT pledge last year that encourages developers to only implement NFTs if they don't cause significant environmental damage, which these items do because of the massive amount of computing power and energy that's needed to make them what they are.
EA has also previously spoken about NFTs, with EA's CEO Andrew Wilson saying he believes NFTs will be an "important part of the future of gaming." However, the company said a year later it was "not driving hard" in the direction of NFTs.
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