FIFA has announced that it's releasing four blockchain games based on the upcoming Qatar World Cup, because apparently, the world needs more blockchain games in it. The soccer giant describes the games as "future-focussed" and says they're intended to "engage a wider group of fans" ahead of the monumental sporting event.
Blockchain tech has been embraced by plenty of gaming industry luminaries and other tech giants, including Rockstar founder Dan Houser and Japanese colossus Square Enix. Now, you can add FIFA's name to that list, as four Web 3.0 projects ranging from casual management sims to, uh, "a digital representation of eternal fandom" have been revealed.
First up, there's AI League: FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Edition, which is a casual soccer game that allows you to make decisions at "fun and tactical moments". You can also collect and trade players in the game, presumably in the form of NFTs. There's also a FIFA World Cup space in the Upland metaverse, allowing you to travel to replica versions of the World Cup Stadium and Village in Qatar as well as trade stuff with your buddies.
The final two FIFA blockchain experiences for the Qatar World Cup are Matchday Challenge: FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Edition, a "social prediction" game in which you race to predict outcomes ahead of your friends (which does sound rather like betting, doesn't it?), and Phygtl, a "fan engagement mobile application" that lets you "own a limited fragment" of a digital golden globe football. It's just as baffling and unappealing as blockchain and NFT projects usually are.
FIFA's blockchain game announcement comes amid sustained criticism of the Qatar World Cup. Critics have pointed to allegations of mistreatment among migrant workers building the event's infrastructure, as well as Qatar's record of human rights injustices and the fact that homosexuality is illegal in Qatar, thus making LGTBQ+ soccer fans uncomfortable with the choice of venue at best.
Among the critics of the World Cup being held in Qatar is former FIFA president Sepp Blatter himself, who conceded that awarding Qatar the World Cup in 2010 was a "mistake". Something of an own goal there, eh, Sepp? Still, at least FIFA has these blockchain games, which will undoubtedly be hugely popular and spearhead a new revolution in Web 3.0. We'll let you know as soon as that happens.