Nike’s blockchain and digital wearables division, .Swoosh has announced its intention to explore the video game space further in the upcoming year.
However, it remains unclear whether their gaming initiatives will incorporate Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). The company emphasized the importance of deriving value from virtual products through self-expression and access to physical items, suggesting a focus on fan engagement rather than purely transactional motives.
In a recent blog post, Nike’s .Swoosh division revealed its plans to venture deeper into video gaming by introducing a new range of virtual products known as “Nike In-Game Wearables.”
These in-game wearables differ from digital collectibles like the OF1 because they can be purchased and worn directly within players’ favorite video games.
An interesting aspect of this announcement is that gamers won’t need cryptocurrency wallets to participate. Instead, they only need to link their game accounts, simplifying the user experience. Nevertheless, it remains uncertain whether these upcoming wearables will be in the form of NFTs.
Nike’s history in the blockchain space
Nike’s foray into the blockchain space began with its acquisition of RTFKT and the establishment of the .Swoosh platform a couple of years ago. Throughout this period, the company has been cautious in its approach to digital items and has not consistently released its digital products on the blockchain.
While .Swoosh previously introduced numerous digital sneaker NFTs on the Polygon network, and a 2023 announcement hinted at potential NFT collaborations with EA Sports and Fortnite. However, the Fortnite partnership ultimately materialized as a promotion of digital collectibles that did not involve blockchain technology.
The recent blog post from Nike clearly distinguishes between “digital collectibles” or NFTs and “in-game wearables.” This distinction raises the possibility that the latter may not be crypto-related but resemble Nike’s previous collaboration with Fortnite.
However, the post also mentions that owners of Nike digital collectibles (NFTs) can transfer these items to personal cryptocurrency wallets later this year. This move allows NFT collectors to trade their Nike NFTs on marketplaces that ensure royalties to creators, which notably includes Nike and its affiliated artists.
No plans for a Nike NFT marketplace
In its blog post, Nike indicated that it does not intend to establish its own NFT marketplace, stating that doing so might divert attention from its core product creation and storytelling. This decision suggests that Nike has no immediate plans to launch its own NFT trading platform in the foreseeable future.
Despite these clarifications, there remains some uncertainty surrounding the extent to which Nike’s.Swoosh division will incorporate NFTs in its upcoming video game integrations.