It’s not everyday you can step into the cleats of an NFL quarterback, but that’s the entire premise of NFL Pro Era, the first NFL-licensed virtual reality game. And the company behind the game, StatusPro, has co-founders that are former professional and collegiate athletes.
At a preview event for the game, I strapped on a Meta Quest headset and became Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. I’m a casual football fan, so I had absolutely no clue what type of play I should make to score in the two-minute skirmish against the Green Bay Packers, but the pressure was on. I needed to throw this ball in the general direction of some glowing teammate before I was sacked — and hope for the best. (I scored! I like to think I did Tua proud.)
NFL Pro Era has you playing quarterback in VR.
NFL Pro Era isn’t designed for a full football game (and I don’t know if I would feel too great playing the length of an entire game in VR). This is more about short moments role-playing as a pro quarterback. Your throw is determined by how you release the trigger as you fling your arm. The game also lets you toss the ball with friends in VR. But there’s something unique brewing behind this game. Could bringing the NFL into VR create a new audience interested in trying out virtual reality gaming?
To see what it’s like inside the helmet, watch the video embedded above for my hands-on experience and interviews with folks at the event. To me, the real interesting thing to watch is how this title evolves. It’s not every day you get a company that wants to make a game to match their own experiences on the field.
NFL Pro Era is available for download now for $30 on Meta Quest and coming soon to the PlayStation VR store.