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Cristiano Ronaldo invests heavily in new breakout football game

Published: Updated: 19:47, 13 Dec 2023
Al-Nassr and Portugal star had previously signed on as an ambassador for the project

Portugal national team star and five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Cristiano Ronaldo, has joined a group of investors backing the upcoming free-to-play football video game, Ultimate Football League (UFL). Having previously become an ambassador for the new fledgling game, CR7 has now thrown his financial weight behind the project.

Ronaldo and his co-investors have committed more than $40 million to develop UFL. Strikerz Inc. is developing the 'skill-first' video game. The Portuguese football sensation sees some potential for the new franchise and plans to leverage his extensive social media following to promote this new title on a global scale.

Al-Nassr captain, Cristiano Ronaldo, said:

“I’m thrilled to be a part of this project as UFL can become the new breed in football gaming.”

The investment marks a significant foray for Ronaldo into the gaming industry, demonstrating his commitment not only as an athlete but also as an investor in innovative sports-related ventures.

Investment from Ronaldo seen as a 'significant step forward'

Strikerz Inc. believes that there's a market for games like UFL, which aims to blend exceptional gameplay with social elements to foster player connection.

In recent times, this industry has seen some major changes. One such change was EA Sports' rather forced decision to rebrand its iconic FIFA series as EA FC alongside the launch of its latest game, EA FC24.

UFL aims to differentiate itself from traditional football video games by rewarding strategic knowledge and gaming prowess rather than just gameplay mechanics. It also promises new features and regular updates without requiring players to pay monthly or annual fees - a significant departure from many current models in the gaming industry.

Eugene Nashilov, CEO of Strikerz Inc., said:

“Having Cristiano Ronaldo join us as a partner and investor is a significant step forward and an endorsement of our vision to create the leading game for football fans. UFL is committed to innovation, technology and entertainment and we see significant potential to do things differently in the gaming industry."

"This is an ambition shared by Cristiano and we are excited to be working together, while continuing to engage with future investors, to create a game that fills a gap in the football gaming market by unifying a rich gaming experience with continuous progress and a fair approach.”

Ultimate Football League looks to compete with EA Sports

As EA enter a new era for their football franchise, following the death of the decades-old FIFA brand, at least for now, Strikerz Inc. sees an opportunity to strike and create some competition.

Should they be successful, UFL will provide the first real competition to EA Sports for some time. Games like Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) have provided a limited level of threat over the years, but the football video game market has been largely dominated by EA Sports since the 1990s.

While Strikerz Inc hasn't announced an official release date for UFL yet, closed testing began this autumn indicating that it may not be too far off. The game will be supported on Xbox Series X and S consoles as well as PlayStation 5 when it launches.

This investment from the Real Madrid legend is the latest development contributing to an exciting time for both football and video game fans. It's a clear indication of how the worlds of sport, gaming, and social media are increasingly intersecting.

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