With only a few days before the kick-off of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which will take place over eight venues in Qatar, FIFA has announced a multi-year partnership with Upland, the largest open metaverse mapped to the real world, with 3 million registered users.
This partnership allows the Upland community and football fans worldwide to collect, trade, and own FIFA digital assets and game video highlights, using the world flagship football tournament to help fans get a better understanding of how the Metaverse and web3 work.
Through the experience, fans will learn how to participate and contribute to the virtual community-driven environment, with a broad variety of activities in Upland during the tournament to support the education efforts and the opportunities for fans to cheer for their favourite national team.
FIFA’s virtual open world on Upland will include a virtual replica of Lusail Stadium in Qatar and other FIFA-branded apparel, shops, and virtual property in the game. The stadium, which will also host the final, will also earn a Monument status in Upland, the first building to do so in history.
All 32 World Cup teams will have digital country crests, boots, shirts, logos, posters, and team mascots featured in Upland, which spans more than 3 million registered users across its app for iOS, Android, and the web. Fans can also buy virtual buildings in Upland to be decorated with flags of their favourite World Cup team.
Upland will announce its first-ever capital city for the winning nation, another legacy moment for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
“No other world competition unites countries and people worldwide quite like the FIFA World Cup. We’re excited to create a multi-touch web3 experience showcasing fun, innovation, entrepreneurialism, and community as the first of many opportunities in the future of FIFA World Cups, where fans can now collect, own, and share a real moment in history,” said Dirk Lueth, Co-Founder, and Co-CEO of Upland.
For Qatar 2022, Upland will also introduce a collection game for football fans, with a limited number of mystery bundles at multiple rarities available. They include country-specific team crests, boots, shirts, and historic FIFA World Cup logos, posters, and mascots so that fans can complete digital collection albums across all 32 teams.
Completing a collection will be to a user’s benefit, as those with the highest scores will win prizes like, for example, the Lusail Stadium as virtual property in the metaverse. Other added perks include chances to acquire the most talked-about moments of the World Cup, including but not limited to game highlights that cannot be purchased directly from Upland.
However, Upland is not the only web 3.0 project for FIFA at the Qatar 2022 World Cup. The new gaming integrations, all of which are designed with web 3.0 and the future of digital engagement in mind, are playable around the tournament and each has a unique twist on the globe’s biggest football tournament.
Altered State Machine is a 4-on-4 casual football game played between AI-controlled characters, with player input at fun and tactical moments. Players act as the coach and owners of their AI teams and can improve their abilities through power-ups and training.
Phygtl is a fan engagement mobile application that takes fandom into a new dimension. Immersive experience fans join forces on with the mission to co-create the global first fan to generate a digital reward. Fans can augment a golden-globe-football from the palm of their hands into their real-life environment, and own a limited fragment of it to attach and eternalize their handpicked FIFA World Cup pictures and video moments. A digital representation of eternal fandom.
“This is a hugely exciting group of partnerships that we’ve entered into as we embrace a new, digitally-native football fan and engage with them in the spaces that we know they are already active within. As we continue to build our gaming strategy long into the future, it’s certain that web 3.0 will have an important role to play, and this marks the start of our journey,” said FIFA Chief Business Officer, Romy Gai.