FIFA Kicks-off Web 3.0 Initiative Ahead of the World Cup, Unveiling New Games and More

With just days left until the FIFA 2022 World Cup kicks-off in Qatar, the soccer association has been looking into new avenues to engage with fans—this time in a pivot to Web 3.0. As a result of these efforts, FIFA has announced a wave of Web 3.0 games intended to bring new forms of entertainment and engagement to fans. 

The international soccer association unveiled the offerings through partnerships with Web 3.0 platforms including Upland, Matchday, Phygtl, and Altered State Machine.

The change in direction comes after the soccer federation ended its 30-year relationship with Electronic Arts (EA), the publisher behind the FIFA video game franchise. The news has taken the sports gaming community by surprise, as the FIFA games were some of the most coveted and played games in the world. While it is still being determined whether EA will continue to produce new iterations in the series, it is clear that the governing soccer body is committed to exploring a Web 3.0 transition.

FIFA’s Fan-tastic Games

FIFA unveiled four games utilizing Web 3.0 technology. The games will be playable throughout the tournament, with each bringing fans unique experiences and twists as soccer’s most prestigious event unfolds. 

The onus being placed on Web 3.0 is part of the football association’s efforts to encourage organic growth through expansion into new digital spaces, platforms, and games. In keeping with this, FIFA recently launched a landmark Roblox experience, welcoming soccer enthusiasts to a free to play experience in celebration of the beautiful game. 

Here are some details about the new Web 3.0 games FIFA has unveiled: 

  • AI League: A casual, 4-on-4, simulated strategy-based football manager game developed by Altered State Machine. Players take on the role of coaches and owners to manage an AI team, improving their abilities through power-ups and training. AI League operates in a similar fashion to fantasy-league soccer, where players can predict the outcomes of real matches and win rewards. 
  • Upland: The largest city-building and property trading metaverse mapped to the real world—Upland will play host to the Lusail Stadium, home of the upcoming Qatar World Cup, in collaboration with FIFA. Here, fans will be able to collect official FIFA World Cup digital assets (including legendary video highlights from the tournament), shop for exclusive items, engage in competitions, and much more. 
  • Matchday Challenge: The Web 3.0 gaming startup, backed by the likes of Lionel Messi and other star soccer players, has partnered with FIFA to launch a new game ahead of the World Cup. Matchday Challenge will be a casual, strategy-based, prediction card game with fantasy-league elements. Players can battle it out with their curated decks, as well as earn points by predicting the outcomes of matches during the tournament. 
  • Phygtl: The fan engagement, decentralized mobile app, popular for generating fan-first digital rewards, is set to launch an immersive World Cup experience for soccer fans around the world, in collaboration with FIFA. Through the app, fans can capture and eternalize their favorite World Cup moments by attaching augmented NFTs to their media.

Chief Business Officer for FIFA Romy Gai emphasized the soccer association’s excitement about the innovative partnerships, and looks forward to engaging with fans through the newly developed digital spaces. Gai went on to add that the releases represent the first step in the company’s Web 3.0 gaming strategy for the future, and expressed his confidence that they can play an essential role. 

On the Flipside

  • The newly announced lineup heavily features fantasy-league football and prediction mechanics that risk inducing gambling addictions among players looking to earn rewards. 
  • FIFA’s decision to onboard such games could be considered radical in light of the end of its 30-year relationship with EA. The FIFA game franchise is among the most played games in the world, with the most recent iteration, FIFA 23, reaching a record-breaking 10.3 million players in its first week, marking the biggest launch in EA and FIFA history. 
  • Upon investigating the status of these games, DailyCoin found that, at press time, the Matchday website is under maintenance, while Phygtl’s website displays no details about the upcoming game. 

Why You Should Care

Soccer is the most watched and played sport in the world, with more than 3.5 billion fans worldwide. The sport’s gargantuan fanbase is a large part of why FIFA has a decorated history in comprehensive entertainment offerings such as games. FIFA’s push toward Web 3.0 could potentially welcome billions of new users to the Web 3.0 space, as its EA partnership did for 30 years. The soccer association’s relationship with EA has catered to multiple generations over the years, with the series spanning from FIFA 94, to this year’s FIFA 23.

The international soccer federation is determined to reach fans through all mediums, but to many, especially those unfamiliar with the sector, the games offered through this new platform may seem questionable. In the wake of FIFA’s decision not to renew its licensing deal with EA, only time will tell what a Web 3.0 future holds for the soccer federation. 

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Author

Inshaullah is a crypto and blockchain gaming enthusiast at DailyCoin, who has a knack for writing all things he’s passionate about: crypto, data, games, and coding. As a gamer, Inshaullah writes about interesting blockchain games and GameFi protocols, hunts for the next big news in the crypto space, and creates content that is noob-friendly and fluff-free. With a background in Computer Engineering, Inshaullah has been in the crypto world since 2019. He’s seen a lot of horrors ever since, and nothing fazes him anymore.