EA and Nike have just announced a partnership that will bring select virtual assets created by .Swoosh, Nike’s Web3 marketplace platform, to future EA Sports titles. No specific games have been mentioned, and neither company has provided much information regarding what we can expect, though the creations will include virtual footwear and apparel.
But the partnership with EA seems to fulfill promises laid out by Nike back in November when the shoe brand first launched .Swoosh. At that time, Nike suggested that its virtual apparel could eventually be equipped in video games and “other immersive experiences.”
A recent NFT drop by .Swoosh sold over $1 million in its virtual goods, despite a series of technical issues and seemingly slow sales, as reported by CoinDesk. The NFT market has otherwise been in steady decline for several months, and previous attempts to integrate blockchain collectibles into video games haven’t been well received by gamers. Notably, EA’s press release does not say the word NFT.
Nike says that it will release additional details regarding how .Swoosh NFTs will integrate into future EA Sports titles “in the coming months.”
“All of us at EA Sports are focused on leading the next evolution in sports fandom, and this new collaboration with our longtime partners at Nike sits directly at the intersection of innovation, sport, and culture,” Andrea Hopelain, EA’s SVP of brand for EA Sports and Racing, said in a press release. “Working with .Swoosh, we’ll bring creativity and self-expression to the forefront for fans as they connect, compete, and share their love for sport.”
Nike has been strangely reluctant to refer to its own blockchain-based digital collectibles as NFTs, despite having acquired RTFKT — a popular NFT studio that specializes in virtual sneakers — back in December 2021. In fact, the official .Swoosh account on Twitter has never even said the word NFT, instead referring to product drops as “virtual creations.” But it’s ultimately not too surprising that EA is dipping its toe into the realm of NFTs: EA CEO Andrew Wilson has said they could be a part of the industry’s future.