The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ starts in just over a week and this year football fans and gamers alike can participate in an official match results prediction game. The game “AI League: FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Edition” will allow players to win artificial intelligence (AI) enhanced non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that will enable them to compete in a soon-to-be-released football AI metaverse. Further unannounced physical prizes will also be up for grabs to the best performers.
“The FIFA AI League is the next evolution of online games, where your street footballer has its own AI and can compete against other AI players”
The announcement is further proof of FIFA’s ongoing commitment to helping develop new football gaming experiences for fans in the metaverse and the use of Web3 technologies in its strategy. This also marks an exciting integration of ‘smart’ technologies into the sports and gaming industries. With billions of football fans worldwide, the potential to onboard the mainstream into the metaverse, AI and NFT technology is enormous.
“The launch of our FIFA World Cup AI league is an exciting step towards our mission to lead casual gamers into the world of AI gaming in the metaverse” (Aaron McDonald, Co-founder of Altered State Machine)
Players can lock in their match predictions for World Cup matches and in the process, unlock the four unique NFT characters that will form their team in the upcoming AI League. Players will be able to track their progress against the global community via a leaderboard that will also indicate whether players have earned extra prizes for their prediction prowess.
“The AI League is a revolutionary 4-v-4 football game where you get to unleash a team of AI-powered footballers on the streets of the Metaverse.”
The AI-enabled NFTs were made in collaboration with Web3 AI startup Altered State Machine (ASM), which has been developing an AI platform for NFTs that allows the digital collectibles to be trained and their performance improved by their owners, as well as via the gaining of experience of participating in different games and metaverse challenges.
“Your strategic input plays a key role in the outcome of matches - as if you were a young Fergie prowling the touchline and barking instructions to your team… Act as both the manager and owner of your AI team. To get started, you’ll collect four digital characters, then work on improving their abilities through your tactical prowess”
Being NFTs, these characters will also be tradeable amongst other players, and will have further utility in a “Futureverse” that is being developed by ASM and FIFA.
“These powerful AI characters interact with and support your decisions, creating a smarter game environment with more complex and realistic challenges than you’ve ever seen in a football game”
The game officially starts on November 20 in parallel with the World Cup. Players can already visit www.FIFAworldcupaileague.com to sign up and be ready before the official kick-off.
“ASM is on a mission to empower the world to engage with AI through gamification and storytellin ... we are honored to be building the first Web3 game with FIFA. We look forward to bringing the world’s most popular sport into the metaverse.”
MUFG is partnering with the “GranWhale” metaverse platform being developed by Japanese ‘metaverse travel’ company ANA Holdings, potentially bringing a combined user base of 38 million into its metaverse services. GranWhale aims to be a “lifestyle experience” that offers “virtual travel, shopping, events, and entertainment” to “propose and offer new lifestyles connected to the real world”.
The virtual world will offer users the ability to roam a 3D world made up of digital stores from real-world brands where they can shop and interact using their avatars. Users will also be able to use the platform to travel virtually to other cities, initially in Japan with plans to offer a global list of cities in the future.
This real-world use-case of the metaverse will even be insured against fraudulent or ‘bad transactions’ that might happen via a partnership with Sompo Japan, an insurance provider.
By not only offering their services online but improving customer immersion and experience, and potentially creating new Web3-financial services, the three companies hope to leverage new opportunities to cooperate and attract a larger addressable market than was previously possible and stay relevant to younger generations of consumers.
The three-way partnership will be breaking new ground in developing a regulatory framework for the provision of financial services in the virtual world.
Check out the preview trailer of the GranWhale experience:
OpenSea, the leading non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, announced plans to ensure that NFT artists received royalties on sales, which an average of 5% paid out on the OpenSea marketplace.
This comes at a time when some marketplaces (such as Sudoswap) offer NFT traders the ability to bypass the creator royalties currently set on present and past NFT collections by using a different sales mechanism.
“... the vast majority of creators in this industry is now subject to enforcement discretion of marketplaces rather than code” (Devin Finzer, OpenSea CEO)
Such marketplaces allow NFT traders to create their own ‘pools’ that other traders can use to swap cryptocurrency for NFTs without requiring the payment of royalties to creators. This allows traders to receive a greater share of any revenue made on their NFT trades but leaves artists in the lurch.
OpenSea subsequently announced an ‘on-chain’ royalties enforcement tool that would enable new and future NFT collections on their marketplace to block sales of NFTs on platforms that did not enforce the royalty payments. This tool works by letting creators specify which marketplaces can make transfers on their behalf.
“It’s clear that many creators want the ability to enforce fees on-chain & we believe that choice should be theirs – not a marketplace’s – to make. We’re building tools we hope will balance the scales by putting more power in creators’ hands to control their business model.” (OpenSea via Twitter)
However, it seems that they went one step too far, by announcing plans to remove royalties support for older NFT collections that were not made to be compatible with the new tool.
The outcry from the NFT artist community has been notable, with many prominent creators and celebrities in the space weighing in.
“After speaking with OpenSea, it feels like there is no plan and no clear answers were given in regards to existing collections and artist’s royalties” (@Betty_NFT, Co-creator of Deadfellaz)
“Please reconsider removing royalties.” (FEWOCiOUS)
It could be that NFT marketplaces choose a stance on, and the means of enforcement of creator royalties as a unique selling point tailored to their communities. For example, the NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway announced that it will continue to support royalties on older collections while planning to devise its own open-source standard.
“At Nifty Gateway, we believe NFT royalties are one of the greatest pro-creator innovations of this century and we are proud to enforce royalties on our marketplace … we are forming the Creator Royalty Coalition – an independent decentralized community council that will manage and maintain the list of marketplaces that will be referenced in the standard.” (Nifty Gateway via Twitter)
For now, OpenSea has announced that it will listen to the community and base its next steps on their feedback.
“We recognize this is a first step, so we’re committed to engaging with our communities about solutions for existing collections. In deference to how difficult it is to enforce fees on chain for existing collections, we won’t make any changes for existing collections through at least December 8, 2022. To be transparent, the consideration set for what happens after December 8 is wide open – and we’re considering options ranging from continuing to enforce off-chain fees for some subsets of collections, to allowing optional creator fees, to collaborating on other on-chain enforcement options for creators. We recognize not all creators, collections, and communities are the same and we are looking to create a long-term policy that reflects that.” (OpenSea)
Review written by Quoc Nguyen