“Fans will feel the excitement of what it’s like to be an NFL quarterback and stare in the face of a pass rush while maintaining command of the offense,” said StatusPRO CEO Troy Jones.
StatusPRO, the sports technology and gaming company that announced a partnership in March with the NFL and NFLPA to create the league’s first officially-licensed virtual reality game, has announced the title and release window for the upcoming project.
The game, officially called NFL PRO ERA, will be available this fall on both PlayStation VR and Meta Quest.
The announcement was paired with the official trailer for NFL PRO ERA. The video features a first-person view from the perspective of Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. The voiceover for the trailer marking the game’s big reveal comes via hip-hop artist and former NFL Draft prospect Tobe Nwigwe.
NFL PRO ERA will attempt to give players an authentic NFL virtual reality gameplay experience for the very first time, taking them from the pre-game locker room to chatter inside the huddle to the intense action on the field.
“We can finally give people a glimpse into what we’ve been working on for more than two years now,” said Andrew “Hawk” Hawkins, co-founder and president of StatusPRO, in an interview. “This gives access to fans and athletes alike. The game was born out of a training product; being able to put fans [and] sports gamers in the shoes of their favorite athletes and give them a perspective of the game that they’ve never had before is going to create lifelong fandom that they’ve never had before.”
StatusPRO announced last month a partnership with the NFL and NFLPA to bring a virtual reality game to the video gaming space. With the company’s co-founders both being former football players, the partnership was a natural fit for the StatusPRO’s first game. The company does eventually plan to expand into other sports, but working with the NFL and succeeding could serve as a building block to leveraging their capabilities with other sports and leagues down the line.
“Through our product, fans will feel the excitement of what it’s like to be an NFL quarterback such as Lamar Jackson and stare in the face of a pass rush while maintaining command of the offense,” said Troy Jones, co-founder and CEO of StatusPRO, in an official release. “Fans will get to experience the energy of thousands of fans cheering in their favorite stadium while gaining a new appreciation for what it takes to compete at the highest level.”
And while the game is designed to replicate an NFL experience, it is meant to enhance the mind more than the body. Jay Juneau, the game’s executive producer, can attest to this.
“Look, you’re going to want to work with a coach on your throwing mechanics, [but] this will certainly teach you how to read a defense and make quick decisions,” he said in an interview. “The stats we found were that the average quarterback completion is only two and half seconds — that’s what it takes to complete a pass, so you better be able to know right where you want to go and if not that spot then look to another one or else you’re going to get sacked.”
StatusPRO has a list of noteworthy investors who are banking on the company being the next big thing in the gamified emerging tech space, including Naomi Osaka, LeBron James, Maverick Carter, Drake, Jimmy Iovine, TitleTown Tech, Verizon Ventures, and 49ers Enterprises. And while NFL PRO ERA doesn’t have an exact release date just yet, keep your eyes on the Fall 2022 window — when the big day rolls around, expect the company’s name to ring out even farther and wider.