FIFA Launches AI-Powered World Cup Soccer Mobile Game And Plans To Include NFTs
The mobile soccer game has leveraged AI and plans to add NFTs too.
By Anna B Kiwanuka
FIFA today launched the open beta version of World Cup AI League, a 4v4 soccer strategy game that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) for its characters, cosmetics, and gameplay elements.
The mobile game was created by Web3 AI company, Altered State Machine and is presently accessible on Android, with an iOS launch scheduled soon. The open test for the game is a more developed version of the World Cup prediction game that was released back in November.
FIFA World Cup AI League doesn’t have famous soccer stars like Christiano Ronaldo or 2022 World Cup winner Lionel Messi, both of whom have inked marketing and sponsorship deals with crypto industry companies.
Instead, the characters in AI League are brightly colored, cartoonish beings that evoke the feel of a Pixar film or the hit video game Fall Guys. The AI that controls the characters in FIFA’s game also decides their individual powers and weaknesses.
Similar to fantasy football or other sports management games, players act as team coaches and owners. The game currently offers maps inspired by the international locales of Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Yaoundé, and Seoul.
Altered State Machine co-founder, Aaron McDonald said in a statement, “Our mission is to lead casual gamers into the world of AI gaming in the metaverse, and with FIFA’s AI League, we are unlocking a unique new opportunity for football fans around the globe to interact with their favorite sport.”
While AI League is a free-to-play game, an Altered State representative confirmed that it’s planning to launch an NFT marketplace for the game in the near future. When that debuts, the game’s characters will be minted into NFTs and all characters will be represented via NFTs going forward.
AI League currently offers an in-game currency for users to buy cosmetic enhancements for their players, but that currency is notably not a cryptocurrency, in part due to Apple and Google restrictions surrounding crypto trading.
The representative also said that the NFT deployment will come later because the company wants the user experience to feel frictionless, and doesn’t want players to be overly focused on or distracted by the NFT elements.
It’s a strategy that’s becoming more common in the Web3 space amid criticism from gamers, leading some developers to launch games in a traditional Web2 form first without NFT or crypto elements and then add them later.