EA Sports has paid tribute to Kiyan Prince today, marking the 15-year anniversary of his tragic death in a unique way within FIFA 21.
Prince was a 15-year-old youth footballer, on the books at Queens Park Rangers, when he was stabbed and killed in 2006 while trying to break up a fight at his school.
15 years on from that tragedy, the game developers from EA have worked with Prince's family, friends and teammates, along with the visual effects experts at Framestore, to create a tribute to Prince. The result of their work, which utilised Artificial Intelligence technology, is a digital approximation of what Prince would've looked like today, aged 30.
This digital version of Prince has been added to QPR's squad in the FIFA 21 game. Prince will be playable in the Kick Off and Career Mode game modes, with a special kit and a series of objectives being added to the Ultimate Team mode, as well.
In the years since Prince's death, the Kiyan Prince Foundation has been set up, and QPR showed their support in 2019 by renaming their stadium after the foundation. This charity uses life coaching and sports to help and empower young people and discourage violence. You can learn more and consider making a donation on the foundation's website.
James Salmon of EA Sports said: "By adding Kiyan in-game this year, we not only want to celebrate what an incredibly talented footballer he was and should have been, but also continue to offer EA SPORTS FIFA as a platform to raise awareness of the Kiyan Prince Foundation."
Kiyan’s father, Dr Mark Prince OBE, who founded the Kiyan Prince Foundation, said this of the FIFA tribute: "I want my son to be remembered not for the tragedy of his death but for the triumph of his achievements. Through this campaign my hope is that the world finally gets to glimpse Kiyan’s incredible potential fulfilled. We get to honour his talent. And, hopefully, we can inspire other kids to honour their own talent too - whatever their own strengths might be."
More like this
QPR's director of football, the former pro Les Ferdinand, added this statement: "As a club we have worked closely with the Kiyan Prince Foundation and it has been an honour to get to know Mark on a personal level during that time. What he has been through is every parent’s worst nightmare and his response to such a tragedy has been truly inspiring.
"When we named our stadium after the Kiyan Prince Foundation in 2019, we invited Mark to the training ground to speak with our players. We felt it was important they understood the history of the Foundation and what it stood for. The squad were truly humbled by Mark’s bravery and his dedication to use his pain to prevent others from having to walk the same path he has had to walk.
"We continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Mark and are delighted to see Kiyan in the QPR squad for the 2021/22 season."
The Kiyan Prince FIFA 21 tribute will be shared far and wide, even appearing on billboards at London's Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street. Numerous brands have gotten involved, including JD Sports and Adidas. Match Attax, the collectable card game, is also paying tribute to Prince with a special edition card that depicts him.
Prince will also be listed as a squad member on QPR match-day programmes in real life. His squad number, across all these platforms, will be 30 - the age he would've been today, had it not been for knife crime.
To learn more about the Kiyan Prince Foundation, visit the charity's official website.