Virtual reality gaming just hit a new level courtesy of StatusPRO.

In a previous interview with AfroTech, StatusPRO founders Andrew “Hawk” Hawkins and Troy Jones explained their plans to combine augmented reality and virtual reality (VR) to enhance the sports industry as we know it. Now, it looks like they are here to deliver.

According to a press release, the former football players have officially inked a deal to create the first VR NFL-licensed football game.

“We are a company that wants to democratize what it is like to be an athlete. In XR and VR specifically here, we want to really immerse fans into the shoes of people they watch on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis and give them something they have never experienced,” Hawkins told Boardroom. “As an athlete, being able to continue to bring those experiences to life is amazing. This is the first of many athletes from our company but as football players, you can imagine we want to bring the most authentic version of this to the masses. Being able to do that with the NFL as a partner, there is [nothing] much better than that.”

A Match-Made In Heaven

Traditionally, EA Sports has reportedly held exclusive NFL rights for simulation-style games. It has been this way for the past two decades. However, now, StatusPRO is ready to take on the position. 

Despite renewing its partnership with the professional league in 2020 for more than $1.6 billion and through the year 2026, the new deal with StatusPRO still works because it is completely VR-driven.

“Virtual reality gaming is rapidly expanding and our partnership with StatusPRO allows us to explore a new immersive version of NFL gaming with support of the two largest VR platforms within this emerging space,” said Joe Ruggiero, SVP, Consumer Products at the NFL, in an official press release. “We are seeing a growing number of fans engaging with VR and we’re excited to launch the first-ever VR gaming title that complements our existing offerings in the market today.”

The Future of Sports

StatusPRO offers a unique experience that sets them apart from other contenders in the augmented reality and VR space because half of the Miami-based company’s employee pool consists of former athletes.

In collaboration with the NFL, the pair will tap into the athlete-led technology on the StatusPRO front with a team of developers to help enhance the sports game for fans by offering them a first-person experience that is hand in hand with some of their favorite players.

“The exciting thing about this partnership being a milestone is that if you can tackle the NFL, get in business with them and show value to them you tend to see that bring credibility that we can execute on potential products and other sports,” the founders said, according to Boardroom.