The NFL American football league has announced the launch of NFL Zone, a multi-faceted metaverse experience built in Fortnite Creative, designed to engage existing supporters and increase fan discoverability.
NFL Zone, which will be sponsored by Visa, the NFL’s official payment services technology partner, will serve as a social hub for Fortnite players and NFL fans.
The experience will include ‘The Hub’, which will offer a virtual tailgate, a Visa-sponsored stadium and mini game, and portals to maps inspired by individual NFL teams that will host ‘seek and sack’, a modified version of the popular ‘search and destroy’ teamplay.
Visa’s mini game ‘Blitz the Bag’ will also feature a tag-style gameplay, whereby users can sprint to pick up the bag first and try to bring it to one of the NFL stores located in the stadium without dropping it. The first team-inspired map will spotlight the San Francisco 49ers, followed by other maps featuring the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants and more in subsequent months.
The 49ers will add its stamp to the experience with an Old West-inspired themed map reflecting the Bay Area’s legacy stemming from the California Gold Rush.
NFL Zone will also partner with leading content creators in sports and gaming to drive awareness across social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, Twitch and YouTube. NFL players will also collaborate with creators to promote NFL Zone.
An NFC vs AFC competition will be built into the team-inspired maps. Content creators will also have their wins tracked on a giant scoreboard in NFL Zone, with the division earning the most total points to be crowned champion after a final AFC vs NFC playoff.
Ed Kiang, vice-president of video gaming at the NFL, said: “Fortnite has become one of the go-to destinations for audiences seeking immersive, social experiences, and we see a massive opportunity to bring NFL football to a new generation of fans with NFL Zone.
“Developing a robust catalogue of content with top gaming personalities and pairing it with a persistent presence in the metaverse, we’ll be able to grow generational fandom off the field and enhance the connection audiences have with NFL football.”
Matthew Henick, vice-president of metaverse development at Epic Games, Fortnite’s developer, added: “NFL Zone is a great example of the amazing experiences created and published to millions of players in Fortnite every day. The NFL has used Fortnite’s openly available Creative toolset to build a persistent, social and immersive experience that we can’t wait to see evolve over the course of this NFL season and beyond.”