The National Football League (NFL) is getting its own NFLPA-licensed virtual reality (VR) simulation title in a partnership with sports technology and gaming company, StatusPRO.

The firm, which uses real-time player data to create authentic extended reality experiences, announced the collaboration at the Meta Quest Gaming Showcase, and NFL PRO ERA will be available this autumn on Meta Quest and PlayStation VR.

The game looks to allow fans globally to ‘experience what it’s like to compete as a quarterback’ of an NFL team, via a first-person 3D experience.

“NFL PRO ERA brings fans closer to the action than they’ve ever been before by allowing them to step into their favourite quarterback’s shoes,” commented Andrew Hawkins, Co-Founder and President of StatusPRO.

“The experience is so realistic that fans will be blown away by the play action and truly feel like a professional athlete. Most people experience football from the eye of the observer, yet we’re giving fans the experience of what it feels like to be on the actual field.”

Using a combination of real-time NFL game data and StatusPRO’s athlete-led technology, Hawkins added: “At StatusPRO, we are using our combined knowledge of being players in the game to share that first person experience in NFL PRO ERA for fans everywhere.”

The firm released its official trailer for the title with an ‘up-close view’ from NFL quarterback Lamar Jackson’s perspective, incorporating pre alpha game play and a voiceover from acclaimed hip hop artist and former NFL Draft prospect Tobe Nwigwe. 

The game takes fans from the pre-game locker room through the tunnel to the explosive sounds and sights inside the stadium, and is said to include the ‘chatter inside the huddle’. Signalling the play, Jackson surveys the terrain, blocking assignments from the offensive lineman and running backs to successfully connect with his receiver for the touchdown.

Troy Jones, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of StatusPRO, added: “We felt today’s Meta Quest Gaming Showcase provided the perfect opportunity for StatusPRO to share a sneak peek of NFL PRO ERA. 

“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 offence. Fans will get to experience the energy of thousands of fans cheering in their favourite stadium, while gaining a new appreciation for what it takes to compete at the highest level.”

Moreover, Derrick Levy, StatusPRO Director of AI & Gameplay, stated that the game does not require its players to be fans of the sport. 

He added: “Whether you’re an NFL football fan or an avid gamer, the connection you feel when immersed in the action of NFL PRO ERA is so authentic that fans will truly understand the excitement of what it’s like to lead your team and compete under the bright lights with thousands of cheering fans.

“We’ve combined innovative technology, historical data and direct insights from athletes to orchestrate and unlock a unique experience for fans to really immerse themselves in the game.”

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