Games company Electronic Arts is looking into blockchain technology and NFTs in relation to their gaming portfolio. One of the biggest gaming companies in the world is hiring on roles that delve into ‘new business opportunities like fantasy sports, blockchain and NFTs‘, but also roles that are about machine learning and blockchain technology.
Blockchain-powered gaming is still in its infancy, and we’re still waiting for mainstream gaming brands to really step into the market. Ubisoft has been testing out the waters, while companies like Sega, Namco Bandai and Square Enix have been investing a bit left and right. However, Electronic Arts hiring could mean a lot for the blockchain gaming space. Especially considering the amount of sports licenses in their portfolio.
“The world of entertainment is changing. From ownership to access, from linear to streaming, from physical to digital. The video game industry is evolving with new ideas and Electronic Arts aspires to lead the way”, they write in their job description for a Senior Direct for Strategic Growth Brand Management. The person in this role needs to lead EA towards a new future, and invest in ‘new business opportunities like fantasy sports, blockchain and NFTs‘.
When FIFA Ultimate Team NFTs
Obviously FIFA 2022 and Madden NFL 2022 aren’t likely to have any NFT or blockchain features, but perhaps in the near future we will see this. The current blockchain space has shown already how well NFTs merge with sports. Among the biggest names in the NFT space are NBA Top Shot and Sorare. In addition there’s MLB Baseball on the Wax blockchain, and a variety of racing games by Animoca Brands.
According to data from DappRadar NBA Top Shot has been responsible for more than $672 million in trading since its launch. NFT collectors are even going after legacy NFT projects right now, which would arguably include MLB Champions. In the past 7 days the number of transactions increase 448% to 411 transferred assets. Just to show that there’s even still an appetite for abandoned projects.
We could argue that the upside potential of NFTs for a company like Electronic Arts is enormous. FIFA and Madden NFL both have a game mode called Ultimate Team. This mode generated $1.6 billion in revenue this year alone. That’s almost one third of all the money Electronic Arts made, and that’s only from pack sales. Now imagine they launch their platform on the blockchain. While they’d give gamers true ownership, they’d also take a 1% cut of every transaction. It only makes sense for Electronic Arts to see if this is a road worth taking.
To conclude, did Electronic Arts announce a blockchain-powered product? Absolutely not. Will they look into it? Yes, they will. Will it become a game? We hope so, but it might also become a game distribution platform comparable to Ultra.