Meta Gives First Look at NFL Pro Era, a VR Game That Lets You Play as Quarterback

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Meta Gives First Look at NFL Pro Era, a VR Game That Lets You Play as Quarterback

Most sports video games put you at a view from above. This time, StatusPRO hopes you’ll feel what it’s like to be on the field.


StatusPRO

The developer behind the first National Football League-licensed virtual reality game gave a first look at its upcoming annualized title, NFL Pro Era, which is set to arrive in the fall of this year. The new game, is designed to provide a first-person experience, allowing fans to play the game through the eyes of characters on the field.

The game will include each of the 32 NFL teams, during which players huddle up with AI-powered teammates to choose plays, throw passes and run down the field.

“Not a lot of people have been in the middle of a stadium or heard the crowds or the coach in your ear and hearing your teammates chatter,” said Troy Jones, co-founder and head of StatusPRO, in an interview before the announcement.

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Though NFL Pro Era won’t have detailed recreations of players, its developers say they’re striving for an “authentic” experience.


StatusPRO

NFL Pro Era will be released on Meta’s Quest headset and Sony’s PlayStation VR in the Fall 2022, though the company declined to say how much it’ll cost.

The new game’s efforts offer an alternative to NFL fans hoping to play football games in a different format from Madden NFL, one of the most popular and best selling titles in the industry. In that game, players see the game field from above, a point of view that’s become so synonymous with the sport that the NFL has moved its on-field cameras in the real game to offer shots mimicking those in the video game.

Jones said StatusPRO’s game will offer a different spin, focused on the view from the field. His company’s been building augmented reality training simulators for real-life football players. Their app, which is used by teams including the Baltimore Ravens, uses Microsoft’s Hololens headset, which overlays computer information on the real world. In this case, players see digital football players superimposed in front of them as they practice various maneuvers

Jones warned that the first iteration of the game won’t have the same fidelity as Madden NFL, such as detailed recreations of characters or specially recorded voices. That’s in part due to technological limitations of virtual reality headsets, he said. Instead, the company is focused on getting gameplay right, offering its quarterback experience as well as a multiplayer option where people can throw virtual footballs with friends.

“Our goal is to take advantage of the technology that emerges,” he said, adding that the company intends to release continuous updates in reaction to player feedback. 

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