FIFA is finalizing details for the start of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Although the highlight of the event are the matches between national teams, the institution plans to position the event on all fronts. One of these is the Metaverse, where football fans can visit Doha’s Lusail Stadium and purchase virtual items.
A few days before kick-off, FIFA announced that it will offer a metaverse experience of the Qatar 2022 World Cup. made a deal with Upland, a blockchain-based game where people can buy and sell real estate and digital assets. Unlike Zuckerberg’s metaverse, where we interact with avatars, Upland is a kind of Google Maps where we can navigate a map of the whole world.
FIFA’s proposal is that users will not have to travel to Doha to visit the Lusail Stadium. Simply create an Upland account, simulate a map trip and enter a menu-driven virtual universe. Once in Qatar, fans will be able to enter the shops and purchase official merchandise or souvenirs in the form of NFTs.
The beauty of this experience is that there are different categories of NFT. Some are time-limited, while others are rare and commemorate classic World Cup moments. By purchasing virtual items, users earn points which are used to enter a sweepstakes for Doha Stadium ownership.
If any of the above seem confusing or unattractive, you are not alone. Winning a stadium or purchasing digital goods that you can display on your property on the map would only appeal to Upland users. That’s why FIFA has been looking for other partners to offer an experience in line with the virtual gaming model, and one of them is Roblox.
A few weeks ago, FIFA announced the launch of FIFA World, a new ecosystem that offers minigames and rewards within Roblox. Users can visit multiple virtual spaces and collect outfits or stickers to unlock rewards. To pique the interest of football fans, the company contacted Pedri and Lena Oberdorf, who have their own in-game avatars.
FIFA World is the answer to those looking for a metaverse more attracted to the side of Fortnite and MMO games. People can meet in virtual arenas and enjoy FIFA + exclusive content. While this is not the same as inviting friends to enjoy the game over a beer – as is normally the case in such an event – FIFA is focusing on the new generations.
Christina Wootton, vice president of global partnerships at Roblox, said enjoying events together isn’t always possible in the physical world. Lindsay Aamodt, director of marketing at Upland, said that a regular fan will not buy a ticket to a game, but in return will have a representative experience in the metaverse.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicks off on November 20 with Qatar against Ecuador. This edition of the World Championship will be one of the strangest, not only due to the controversy surrounding its appointment, but also because its calendar will be shorter than that of the championships of other years. Extreme weather conditions and the holiday season forced the organizers to modify the competition.