Nike, never one to pass up a cynical corporate cash-in, obviously made its own "web3" platform last year, debuting the .Swoosh "digital community experience" in November and selling a bunch of boxes of randomized virtual shoes in its beta period. "Build your collection," it advertises, "Display, trade, or wear your Nike Virtual Creations in video games and immersive experiences."
Now one of gaming's very own cynical corporate cash-grabbers, Electronic Arts, is getting in on the "immersive experiences" to do something vague involving its games and Nike's blockchain-powered .Swoosh platform.
"In future EA Sports titles, EA Sports and Nike plan to make select .Swoosh virtual creations available allowing members and players unique new opportunities for self-expression and creativity through sport and style," it said.
My guess is that means you'll get to have your little custom players wear the virtual sneaker designs you bought on Nike's marketplace? They're not very clear, here. The quotes in the press release do a lot of bloviating about "incredible new experiences" and a "commitment to innovation" and "creativity" that's for "fans" and they use the word partnership a lot. Is this NFT and Web3 buzzword bait for investors because both companies want to be seen as innovators, which is also a buzzword? That's my hypothesis.
For our part, we'll just continue to watch everything to do with NFTs crash and burn. We've already pretty much bullied them out of mainstream games, which is probably for the best because their advocates can't explain exactly how and why they're worthwhile and they mostly got used to do lots of crimes.
That's not to say that—as this EA announcement shows—we're not going to see corporations keep pushing new ways to push yet-more unwelcome commercial transactions inside games and sell you more things. The PUBG people are trying that soon.
Speaking of EA, resident Football-liker Rich Stanton had his soccer sneer on last month as EA unveiled the look of EA Sports FC, its first football videogame since parting ways with the FIFA branding rather publicly and acrimoniously. He was looking askance at upcoming footie game Ultimate Football League to maybe, finally, provide some actual competition for FIFA after all—or at least a functional alternative.