- Blockchain-built, e-sports-centric football game to rival FIFA
- Play and Earn and Play and Own models, allowing gamers to own their assets like footballers and stadia
- $15m investment from funding round, with the likes of Gerard Pique pledging money
I have openly dreamed about how blockchain technology will impact the games industry, from holistic redirections through to which genres will benefit the most. We have seen a quick rise in TCG games within the blockchain space and this isn’t arbitrary; TCGs fit very well with blockchain thanks to their visual simplicity (and thus quicker to develop), card ownership, pack openings, and so on.
However, as we move forward, there are far more genres that lend themselves perfectly to blockchain gaming and will aid in its rise to simply, “gaming.” I have spoken often about my love for MMORPGs and how well they fit with crypto, given many have their own economies that could be tokenized, rare drops that could be NFTs, and so on. But, there is another candidate I have mentioned once or twice: FIFA.
Why FIFA Is Perfectly Poised for Blockchain, But Probably Won’t Capitalize
I have owned 75% of each yearly FIFA released since the mid-90s, so I feel well-positioned for this discussion. Though FIFA has come under fire in recent years — and for good reason; the difference between releases is offensively slight — it does a few things well. One is Ultimate Team where you collect players to build your team and compete against other people. This would fit perfectly with blockchain as the part of this game mode you’ll like have seen is pack openings where people get rare players, much to their elation. These cards as NFTs, owned by the gamer, would be a large step forward and the market for selling players could move to a token rather than the in-game currency which has no other application.
This, while a small move on the face of it, would take a lot for a goliath like EA to execute and they have been dragging their feet with blockchain. That’s a shame, but also, since Pro Evolution Soccer’s slip from the two-horse race of football games, FIFA has had an uncomfortable monopoly, so this reluctance towards blockchain also acts as an opportunity; one that GOALS is looking to fill.
What Is GOALS?
Apart from being the least SEO-friendly game name in history, GOALS is a multiplayer, e-sports-ready football game in the works by a Swedish start-up. It is headed up by CEO, Andreas Thorstensson, which is an important note as he is the person behind SK Gaming, so GOALS is already well-placed for the e-sports dimension.
The recent round of investment saw GOALS gather $15m to aid in building this project, with notable investors like Barcelona legend Gerard Pique and Sorare’s Nicolas Julia.
There isn’t a lot to go on in terms of gameplay. Well, there is with regards to words — there’s a lot of those and the GOALS team has gone into depth about game design, aspirations, economic structure, and so on, however, there’s no gameplay footage yet.
One point of note is that there will not be licensed teams or real players. This will disappoint some, but to my eyes, it’s unambiguously the correct decision. Not only would that take away a lot of the funding and effort from development of a great game, but as we have seen with F1 Delta Time, being wholly reliant on a license from a major IP is building on quicksand.
GOALS, just from reading everything on their website, is moving in the right direction and is developed by people who have played a lot of football games. I will produce a comprehensive article when there is more gameplay footage, but the approach to players, stats, and even making PFPs from players you own, suggests the team has a handle on both sides of the coin — blockchain and football games.
As a life-long football fan and football game player, both FIFA and PES, this couldn’t be much further up my street. As far as what we know so far and how the information is presented, I would say it is the perfect beginning (asides from me being unable to find out what chain it’s on), but without playing the game or, at the very least, watching some gameplay, I have to hold some reservations. Nevertheless, it’s one to watch!