The VR Joint Venture Between Drake, LeBron James, and the NFL

The sports technology and gaming company StatusPro is partnering with NFL teams to create VR training exercises for players, among other ventures. In this Motley Fool Live segment from “The Gaming Show,” recorded on April 25Fool.com contributors Jon Quast, Jose Najarro, and Ryan Henderson take a closer at this growing VR company with high-profile connections.

Jon Quast: This is really interesting. So, a company called Status Pro, former college and NFL athletes are the co-founders here, sports technology and gaming company. So what was actually interesting to me doing a little bit of research on this is that it actually started partnering with NFL teams to kind of create like VR training exercises for players. So that’s a really interesting use case, kind of makes me think of Axon Enterprise as well because they have some VR components to training people with their law enforcement devices. but yeah, so this started out as kind of something that an NFL team might use and now they’ve actually developed an entire game, this is actually the first officially licensed VR game by the NFL and it’s going to be available on Meta Platforms‘Eye Quest’ will also be available on SonyPlayStation VR In reading about this, it almost sounded like and maybe I’m reading into it, but it sounded like perhaps you were going to be able to take a play from a real NFL game and put yourself in that quarterbacks position to see what he was seeing as that play developed to see if you would make the correct throw in that situation. I don’t know if either of you guys are fans of the NFL. You guys watch football?

Ryan Henderson: I do, yes. Okay.

Jon Quast: Just real quick to me. I’ve watched football my entire life and then I’ve also in more recent years watch football with like high school football coaches, like people who actually understand the nuance of the game and what’s happening from a foot placement perspective, all this kind of stuff that’s happening, that I’m missing and it’s really interesting to see how intricate the game could be. I really, they talked about how this is an opportunity for the NFL to open up kind of peel back the curtain if you will to the actual nuance of the game for people like me who didn’t actually play.

Jose Najarro: I do want to say, I don’t watch much football football, but this goes really well with kind of the hand tracking stuff that we were just talking about, If you need to throw up the, if you need to throw the ball, hand tracking is going to be super important for something like that. I do, I do want to say this is also, I think going to open up more of the popularity of virtual reality. Like you mentioned, Jon, I think the founders were really, are really big players in the game right now or were players of football, but they do have, investors that are, I believe, Drake is an investor of that company that created the game and also LeBron James. So you have some big high profile that if they are investors, who knows, maybe they might just do some form of free advertisement. If those two people kind of mention just, we are in general, it can kind of explode the overall market a bit or just kind of show the market to other people.

Ryan Henderson: Yeah, this is interesting to me and it’s obviously, I think this is part of the appeal of VR gaming is you can take typical video games and make them take them to the next level, make them that much more immersive. I think you’re going to get whether you’re experiencing the masters alongside Tiger Woods or you’re experiencing pocket presence of a quarterback from Lamar Jackson’s helmet. It’s a very next level. Experience something that kind of confuses me is that I’m pretty sure Electronic Arts has exclusive NFL rights for, for simulation games. So I’m not sure what Status Pro is able to do with this. I don’t know if VR gets some sort of exception, but I have a hard time picking, betting on any sort of gaming football based gaming company who can’t get the rights to the NFL. So that part doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

Jose Najarro: Yeah, that also was a little bit concerning to me, Ryan. But if this game was actually announced in this Oculus Gaming Show, and they mentioned that they are expected to do more of like a Madden series style where they want to do more of like a yearly based release of this game, which again, I thought about the same thing because I thought someone else had kind of these rights. But I wonder, because it is virtual reality, if it kind of jumps over the loops in what their contract might say,

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