Manchester City have begun building the world’s first football stadium inside the metaverse with the help of virtual reality experts at Sony.
In a virtual reality universe, the Manchester City stadium will become the major hub of City thanks to image analysis and skeletal-tracking technology developed by Hawk-Eye, a subsidiary of the tech and entertainment company.
City executives working on the initiative see a time when a virtual Eithad Stadium may fill up multiple times over. Allowing fans who may never travel to Manchester to watch live games from the comfort of their own homes anywhere in the world.
The Premier League’s digital pioneers signed a three-year deal with Sony
The Premier League’s digital pioneers have signed a three-year partnership with Sony. And while development on the project is still in its early stages, teams of Sony experts have already visited the Etihad to digitally map it and reproduce it in virtual reality.
Fans meeting players in the metaverse, communicating with one another. And purchasing things that aren’t available in real life are some of the other ideas being investigated.
“The whole point we can imagine of having a metaverse is that you can recreate a game. You can watch the game live, you’re part of the action in a different way through different angles. Moreover you can fill the stadium as much as you want because it’s unlimited, it’s completely virtual”. Says Nuria Tarre, City Football Group’s chief marketing and fan engagement officer.
People can acces and explore the metaverse using hand controllers and a headset
People can acces and explore the metaverse using hand controllers and a headset. As a result of current technology, virtual reality and football developers believe they can duplicate a match digitally. Similar to how the Fifa video game looks, but that in the future, viewers will be able to watch genuine games played in a virtual stadium.
“It’s not that far away,” says Andy Etches, co-founder of Rezzil. Which created the metaverse game Player 22 that Premier League clubs use to educate their players. “We could pretty much deliver it right now, albeit it would most likely be a computer-generated version at this point.”
If the metaverse takes off in football, it has the potential to change broadcasting rights as well. These are currently offered to broadcasters as part of a Premier League-wide package. However clubs are now looking into selling them individually, possibly through their own metaverses.
In any case, the potential influence of these new digital worlds is enormous and the rate of change may be extremely rapid.