A new way to experience the NFL from a gaming standpoint is upon us, with the league’s first officially licensed game for virtual reality platforms set to launch this fall.
NFL PRO ERA is being developed by StatusPRO and is scheduled to debut on Meta Quest and PlayStation VR . The game is also licensed by the NFL Players Association , allowing the use of names and likenesses of players in the league.
“When we think about this experience, you will finally be immersing yourself as a professional athlete for the first time, and seeing it in a way you’ve never seen it before,” explained StatusPRO co-founder Troy Jones . “It’s the future, and we see it as a new era of gaming and the next step in how people are going to consume sports.”
A former college quarterback at multiple schools, Jones co – founded StatusPRO with former NFL wide receiver Andrew Hawkins . His hope is that having ex-players running the company will add to the understanding and authenticity of the VR experience. Over the past two years, StatusPRO first developed virtual reality technology for the NFL to use in their facilities, then moved on to creating a game for the general public.
“The biggest difference is that we’re from a pure player perspective, that’s right,” said StatusPRO executive producer Jay Juneau . “You’re not a coach. You’re not a general manager. You’re not an owner. You’re an NFL player , and that’s what we’re focused on.”
The goal of the game, beyond entertainment value, is to help fans understand what it’s actually like for quarterbacks at the line of scrimmage, and what they see when they receive the ball from the center. Jones said the game will give players a chance to see if they can complete a pass they might have seen — or criticized — Lamar Jackson , Aaron Rodgers or Patrick Mahomes complete on television.
“In experience, you’re able to play quarterback in an NFL game, ” Hawkins said . “You are capable of making the decisions.”
Juneau said there will be about 200 individual faces in the game, but that technology limitations mean there will be some generic faces, too. Players will have accurate body types, numbers and stats, with ratings based on collected data to create as realistic an experience as possible.
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