EA Sports and Nike announced yesterday that, at some point in the “future”, games like FIFA and Madden will feature integration with .Swoosh, which Nike describes as its “new digital community experience”.
What does that even mean? It’s an NFT (non-fungible token) platform, a crypto-adjacent scam that blew up in 2021 then crashed hard in 2022, a rise-and-fall that is perhaps best illustrated with this graphic:
Despite this, and a wider public reaction to the concept that landed somewhere between ambivalence and condemnation, there are still some companies willing to stick it out. Partly because they’ve got one eye on the future, and also maybe because they signed a bunch of contracts in 2021 and now have to see them through.
This deal in particular is described as:
Nike Virtual Studios and EA SPORTS are today announcing a new partnership aimed at enhancing and personalizing the virtual sports experience for fans all over the world. This collaboration brings together two of the biggest names in sport and entertainment and will lead to all new ways for members of .SWOOSH, Nike’s new digital community experience, and EA SPORTS fans to express their personal style through play.
What’s funniest about the announcement, perhaps, is that even Nike and EA are embarrassed by (or intentionally obfuscating, you pick!) the truth, which is why you won’t find mention of the term NFT in the news, or even a reference to Web3. Instead EA simply says the partnership will make “.SWOOSH virtual creations available allowing members and players unique new opportunities for self-expression and creativity through sport and style.”
EA Sports games offer that already, of course, sometimes in the form of free unlocks, others that you have to pay for using in-game (or real-world) currency.