FIFA has partnered with Roblox to bring experiences in the metaverse to soccer fans. While this is another indication of the interest in virtual worlds, we’ll see that it doesn’t necessarily rhyme with “blockchain” and Web3.
FIFA lands in the Roblox metaverse
After the announcement of a platform of non-fungible tokens (NFT), the International Federation of Football Association (FIFA), accelerates its digital shift by turning to the metaverse. Indeed, the famous soccer institution unveiled a partnership with Roblox last week.
The game, launched in 2003, allows players to create their own content to share with the world. This is how FIFA enters this world, through what it calls FIFA World. Fans will be able to play football-themed mini-games in this environment to earn various rewards.
With an eye on the upcoming schedule, FIFA World will be adapting its content for the World Cup in Qatar later this year, as well as for the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year.
Pedri, Barcelona’s Spanish international and project partner, commented on the news:
“It’s incredibly exciting to see FIFA and Roblox come together, and I can’t wait to be part of FIFA World as it continues to evolve! The soccer fans I see in the stands every week love to play and it’s great to bring the FIFA World Cup to them in the digital space and interact with them directly in our Roblox world.”
A metaverse without blockchain
Roblox is a concrete example showing that “metaverse” doesn’t necessarily mean “blockchain” and not necessarily “Web3” either.
Indeed, although it is possible to sell one’s creations on the platform against a currency called ROBUX, it is necessary to subscribe to it. Moreover, this currency can only be exchanged for dollars from 100,000 units, against a rate decided by Roblox.
It is therefore a Web2 version of the metaverse, where the rules of the game remain very centralized. Nevertheless, this partnership with FIFA is in line with the current dynamics, where famous companies and institutions are paying more and more attention to their digital presence with their audience.