FIFA is finalizing the details for the start of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Although the highlight of the event is the matches between the national teams, the organization plans to position the event on all fronts. One of them is Metaverse, where football fans can visit Doha’s Lusail Stadium and buy virtual items.
Just days before kick-off, FIFA has 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 entire world.
FIFA’s proposal is that users will not need to travel to Doha to visit the Lusail Stadium. Simply create an Upland account, simulate a trip on the map and enter a menu-driven virtual universe. Once in Qatar, fans will be able to enter stores and purchase official merchandise or souvenirs in the form of NFTs.
The beauty of this experience is that there are different categories of NFTs. 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 the Doha Stadium ownership prize draw.
If any of the above seems confusing or unappealing, you’re not alone. Winning a stadium or buying 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 provide an experience in line with the virtual games model, and one of them is Roblox.
A few weeks ago, FIFA announced the departure of FIFA World, a new ecosystem that offers mini-games and rewards within Roblox. Users can visit multiple virtual spaces and collect clothing or stickers to unlock rewards. To stimulate interest from football fans, the company tapped Pedri and Lena Oberdorf, who have their own avatars in the game.
FIFA World is the answer for those looking for a metaverse drawn more to the side of Fortnite and MMO games. People can join virtual arenas and enjoy exclusive FIFA+ content. Although this is not the same as inviting friends over to enjoy the match with a beer – as is normally the case at such an event – FIFA is paying attention to the younger generation.
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 the average fan will not buy a ticket to a game, but in return will get a representative experience in the metaverse.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicks off on November 20 with Qatar vs Ecuador. This edition of the World Cup will be one of the strangest, not only because of the controversy surrounding its appointment, but also because its calendar will be shorter than that of other years’ championships. Extreme weather conditions and the Christmas holidays forced the organizers to modify the competition.