Global sportswear brand Nike just dropped a promo video that teases non-fungible token sneakers in Epic Games’ popular online game Fortnite.
The short video released on June 16th on Nike social media accounts announced the “ultimate Sneakerhunt” will begin on June 20th. The sneaker hunt is being called “Airphoria,” and will reward players with skins and other digital assets from Nike. The video shows the logo for Nike’s new Web3 platform .SWOOSH, as well as the Unreal Engine logo from Epic games.
According to Active Player, Fortnite has over 242.9 million active players over the past 30 days. Its huge player base will give Nike the chance to showcase its Web3 technology and potentially onboard millions of traditional gamers into Web3.
Though details remain scarce, there is speculation that Nike may have created an NFT-based game using Fortnite 2.0, which allows users to build their own virtual island game maps with Fortnite’s assets. If this is the case, Nike could be creating a unique NFT-based gaming experience for players.
Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite, has welcomed NFT-based experiences in its in ecosystem in the past. But considering the popularity of Nike and Fortnight, this latest collaboration could be a milestone moment for the adoption of Web3 technology in gaming.
Nike’s Web3 arm .SWOOSH has been bullish on gaming recently. On June 1st, Nike announced it would be integrating NFTs in games created by EA Sports — though the specific games have yet to be named. It also created a game on ROBLOX, but without NFT integrations.
Nike previously collaborated with Epic Games for a special Nike Zoom Freak 4 PE with basketball superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, and to bring rapper Travis Scott’s Air Jordan 6 to Fortnite. However, this latest collaboration, which could see the integration of virtual NFT sneakers and .SWOOSH digital assets into one of the most popular games in the world, appears to be much more ambitious.
Web3 Gaming Continues to Make Inroads
Traditional gamers have been skeptical of Web3 gaming from the beginning, often complaining that NFTs don’t improve gameplay and that many blockchain-based games just aren’t that good. But the pessimists haven’t stopped brands and companies from investing heavily in Web3 games. Here are a few stories from Rarity Sniper.
First, two months ago, one of the leading metaverse construction companies, LandVault, partnered with Super League to create metaverse gaming platforms in the Middle East. The collaboration will serve companies in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Bahrain.
Next, shortly after, the gaming tech company Razer announced a new fund aimed at supporting blockchain-based games and developers. The “xVentures Web3 Incubator” (ZW3I) fund will invest in early-stage Web3 gaming projects with a focus on improving the gaming experience, developing sound roadmaps, and providing marketing support.
Finally, about three months ago, the Australian gaming studio and subsidiary of Animoca Brands, Grease Monkey Games, announced a partnership with Konig to release a set of “wheel” NFTs. The NFTs are interoperable across three games — Torque Drift, Torque Drift 2, and Torque Burnout.
It will like take some take some time before we know what fans think of Nike’s latest collaboration with Fortnite. However, one thing seems clear from the news: Web3 gaming is here to stay. At Rarity Sniper, we’ll be following up on any developments in the story.