- EA will integrate select virtual assets from Nike’s .Swoosh NFT marketplace into future EA Sports titles.
- EA did not mention any specific games that will be integrated with ‘virtual creations’.
- Nike calls NFTs in its .Swoosh marketplace ‘virtual creations’.
EA could be about to jump on the NFT bandwagon based on its latest partnership with Nike. The two companies have collaborated to bring virtual assets from Nike’s .Swoosh marketplace to future EA Sports titles.
The .Swoosh marketplace is Nike’s in-house NFT platform where it sells digital sneakers and other collectibles as “virtual creations”. Although the sports and apparel giant has refrained from calling its .Swoosh marketplace assets NFTs, all have the characteristics of a non-fungible token (NFT).
First, they are minted on the Layer 2 Ethereum scaling blockchain Polygon. Second, they can serve as a digital tradable for the real thing and can be adapted to gaming ecosystems where players can accumulate points based on their running or walking distance. They can also be used as part of virtual apparel in gaming.
Although EA Sports has seemingly stayed away from the NFT bandwagon, the company CEO Andrew Wilson was quoted in November 2021 saying NFTs will be “part of the future games industry.”
On the other hand, Nike has been one of the most active brands in the NFT space following its acquisition of the popular NFT project RTFKT in December 2021.
Last year, a Dune Analytics dashboard showed that Nike topped the charts in terms of brand revenues from NFTs, with more than $185 million. Adidas and Gucci were also part of that list.
While retail and fashion brands have found it easier to embrace NFTs, gaming companies have been facing constant backlash from their hardcore fans, who think NFTs are being used for greed rather than for extending enjoyment and fan in games.
This could explain why the likes of EA Sports have been reluctant to associate themselves with the word NFT.
In a press release announcing the partnership, Andrea Hopelain, EA’s SVP of Brand for EA Sports and Racing, said: “All of us at EA Sports are focused on leading the next evolution in sports fandom, and this new collaboration with our longtime partners at Nike sits directly at the intersection of innovation, sport, and culture.”
“Working with .Swoosh, we’ll bring creativity and self-expression to the forefront for fans as they connect, compete, and share their love for sport,” added Hopelain.
The companies plan to release more details about integrating .Swoosh creations into EA Sports titles in the coming days.
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