What just happened? A talented footballer who was murdered in 2006 at the age of 15 has had his 30-year-old likeness added to FIFA 21. Fifteen years after his death, Kiyan Prince has been resigned by London club Queens Park Rangers (QPR) in a symbolic gesture and given the number 30 squad number, while a CGI model is now available in the popular soccer game.
Reuters reports that special effects studio Framestore designed Kiyan's 30-year-old character alongside scientists from the University of Bradford, family, friends, former teammates, and coaches.
Kiyan was a highly rated prospect during his time at QPR and was expected to have a glorious career ahead of him. But his life was cut tragically short in 2006 when he was fatally stabbed in the chest after coming to the aid of another boy who was being bullied outside of his school.
Kiyan's father, Dr. Mark Prince, a former IBF and WBO Inter-Continental light-heavyweight boxing champion, established the Kiyan Prince Foundation to tackle youth violence, particularly knife crime, in the UK through motivational speaking, training, educational workshops, and campaigns.
"I broke down when I saw Kiyan's in-game character for the first time," said Prince. "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 honor their own talent too."
Kiyan's FIFA likeness will also appear on iconic billboards, including Piccadilly Circus, as part of an advertising campaign for UK retailer JD Sports.
Les Ferdinand, QPR's Director of Football and former star player, said, "Most of these guys, this generation, they play FIFA, they will see Kiyan, and if that can change just one of their mindsets then it will be a benefit."