EA Sports has partnered with Nike to bring .SWOOSH NFT sneakers to its games, aiming to revolutionize “immersive experiences” through “brand new levels of customization.”
The two companies will allow select virtual creations from the .SWOOSH platform to enter future EA Sports titles. Further details about the collaboration will be available in the coming months, including how .SWOOSH NFTs will be integrated into EA Sports’ games. It is unclear when more announcements will come.
“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,” said EA Sports SVP of brand Andrea Hopelain.
EA Sports is a division of Electronic Arts. Since 1991, EA Sports has published popular gaming titles such as Apex Legends, BFIFA, Madden NFL and many more.
— .SWOOSH (@dotSWOOSH) June 1, 2023
.SWOOSH to help EA Sports venture into the NFT space
The .SWOOSH marketplace is Nike’s in-house platform for selling digital sneakers and collectibles known as “virtual creations.” While Nike avoids explicitly calling these assets NFTs, they share all the characteristics of NFTs.
These virtual creations have two key features. Firstly, they are minted on the Polygon blockchain, a Layer 2 Ethereum scaling solution. Secondly, they hold value as digital assets that can be traded and integrated into gaming ecosystems, allowing players to earn points based on their physical activities or use them as virtual apparel within games.
According to a Dune Analytics dashboard from last year, Nike was the leading brand in terms of NFT revenue, surpassing $185 million. Adidas and Gucci were also notable contenders on the list.
— EA SPORTS (@EASPORTS) June 1, 2023
A significant portion of the revenue came from Nike’s NFT studio RTFKT, known for creating CloneX NFTs in collaboration with artist Takashi Murakami. It also introduced NFT-based Nike CryptoKicks and exclusive physical sneakers that can only be obtained through redeemable NFTs.
Nike debuted its first virtual sneaker collection on the platform On May 15, one week after the previously-announced start date of May 8 due to technical difficulties. Dubbed “Our Force 1”, each piece is priced at $19.82 as a tribute to the year the Air Force 1 sneaker was first launched.
The collection has generated over $1.3 million in sales. According to Polygonscan, 97,627 of the Our Force 1 boxes have been sold from the total inventory of 106,453.
📦 OF1 Box: New Wave
🔬 TYPE: Archive
#️⃣ QUANTITY: 6
💰 PRICE: $19.82
— .SWOOSH (@dotSWOOSH) May 30, 2023
The General Access sale, initially scheduled for May 10 but delayed by two weeks, started on May 24. This sale aimed to sell any remaining NFTs from the total inventory.
While retail and fashion brands have readily embraced NFTs, gaming companies face criticism. Many fans believe NFTs are driven by greed rather and do not enhance the gaming experience or foster fan engagement.
This criticism may explain why companies like EA Sports are hesitant to use the term “NFT.” However, CEO Andrew Wilson expressed in November 2021 that NFTs would play a significant role in the future of the gaming industry. With this collaboration, EA might actually be ready to embrace the NFT space.