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Goals raises US$20m to continue development of NFT soccer video game

Swedish startup hopes free-to-play Web 3.0 game can challenge EA Sports FC.

28 April 2023 Steve McCaskill
Goals raises US$15m to build NFT alternative to FIFA video game


  • Goals was founded in 2021
  • Company has raised US$39m to date

Swedish startup Goals has raised US$20 million in series A funding to continue development of a non-fungible token (NFT) based soccer video game that can be a genuine alternative to traditional simulations of the sport such as EA Sports FC.

The round was led by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six venture capital firm, with participation from Northzone, Moonfire and Cassius. The company has now raised US$39 million, including US$15 million in a seed round last year.

The fresh investment will be used to increase headcount from 50 to 75 and to accelerate development of the game, which is currently in a pre-alpha state. The vision is for Goals to be free-to-play and cross-play across consoles and PC, with a focus on social and competitive gaming with Web 3.0 elements.

“Goals was born out of our passion for football, our passion for video games and our opinion that football video games have grown stale,” said Goals founder Andreas Thorstensson, a former Counter-Strike world champion and founder of esports organisation SK Gaming.

“There are over 3.5 billion football fans in the world, and our team is united in the belief that a football game done right should be the world’s biggest video game. We’re focused on making sure we have a game that meets the needs of every fan, whether they’re looking for casual or highly competitive play, what hardware they play on, no matter where they live.” 

SportsPro says…

Even as late as the mid-2000s there were multiple soccer video games on the market, but soaring development costs and exclusive licensing agreements are proving insurmountable barriers to entry for alternatives to EA Sports’ FIFA series.

EA’s deep pockets, emphasis on realism and the highly engaging Ultimate Team mode have seen off all serious competition and emboldened the publisher to end its multi-decade association with world soccer governing body Fifa

Goals believes there is a growing appetite for an alternative among players who have either grown dissatisfied with EA’s approach or aren’t invested in the console gaming ecosystem. It believes its development team, some of whom have previously worked on FIFA, coupled with Web 3.0 mechanics can deliver that alternative.

However, the task of challenging a market leader with a decades-long advantage in virtually all areas of creating a successful soccer video game should not be underestimated. Even Konami, whose Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) series was widely regarded as superior to FIFA in the mid-2000s, has struggled to match EA over the past decade and ultimately pivoted to a free-to-play, cross-play model with eFootball. The results of the experiment have been mixed. 

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