FIFA has launched its first video game venture since its split with EA – a vaguely football-themed Roblox “immersive experience” intended to tie-in with this year’s Qatar world cup.
Following the termination of FIFA’s partnership with EA earlier this year – which will result in the latter’s long-running football series being rebranded as EA Sports FC from 2023 – FIFA president Gianni Infantino insisted, “I can assure you that the only authentic, real game that has the FIFA name will be the best one available for gamers and football fans.”
To that end, it said it had already started engaging with publishers, studios, and investors to create a major new simulation football title for 2024, but would first be launching a number of “non-simulation games” toward the end of this year.
And lo, it has now partnered with Roblox – a platform accused of being both exploitative and unsafe for children – in order to unleash FIFA World, an “immersive virtual gaming environment” intended to celebrate the “power of football and the rich history of its pinnacle events.”
FIFA says its new FIFA World venture will provide football fans – presumably the ones specifically aged between 9 and 12 – with a “hugely exciting new way to interact with friends, celebrate the rich culture and heritage around the world’s biggest sports competition”.
These “hugely exciting” features include social spaces and “various skill games” – including “footbowling” – that will let players hang out, earn rewards, and collect virtual items. FIFA World will also showcase “bespoke video content” from the FIFA+ streaming service.
“We believe discovering and enjoying events together with friends from all over the globe is a unique experience that often can’t be replicated in the physical world,” Roblox’s VP of global partnerships Christina Wootton uttered as part of today’s launch. “With FIFA World, fans are able to come together to celebrate and express their fandom with one another, support their favourite teams, and get access to FIFA’s top sporting events year round.”
FIFA World is free to access in Roblox now.