Cristiano Ronaldo pledges support to football game UFL
A consortium of investors, led by Portuguese football sensation Cristiano Ronaldo, has invested a total of US$40 million into the development of UFL, an innovative soccer video game aiming to challenge the dominance of EA Sports FC's multibillion-dollar series.
Over the last decade, EA Sports has monopolized the soccer video game market, particularly through its lucrative 'Ultimate Team' mode, creating a formidable barrier for competitors who struggle to match the substantial investment required for development and licensing.
While Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) series was once EA's primary simulation game competitor, it has since shifted to a free-to-play model with significant online components. However, Konami's eFootball venture has faced criticism for alleged graphical deficiencies and a reliance on in-app purchases.
UFL seeks to differentiate itself by offering realistic and engaging gameplay that rewards players' tactical expertise. The game also pledges to avoid 'play-to-win' options, aiming to attract disillusioned players looking for a fresh and fair gaming experience.
Cristiano Ronaldo, already affiliated with developer Strikerz Inc, has deepened his involvement and injected fresh funding into the project. Eugene Nashilov, CEO of Strikerz Inc, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, "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 worldwide."
Ronaldo shared his excitement, saying, "I'm thrilled to be a part of this project as UFL can become the new breed in football gaming."
Additional notable partners in the UFL venture include Belgian internationals Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, as well as Premier League team West Ham United, Scottish giants Celtic, and Bundesliga club Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Although a specific release date for UFL has not been announced, a gameplay trailer was unveiled in 2022, and a closed testing phase commenced in the autumn. UFL aims to launch on both Playstation 5 and Xbox Series consoles.