Electronic Arts, also known as EA, is one of the biggest video game companies around. They have a huge stable of sports games including FIFA for soccer fans, NBA 2K for basketball fans and SSX for snowboarding fans. EA has also catered to football fans through the Madden NFL franchise which is officially licensed by the National Football League as well as the NCAA Football series which features college football teams. Following a very long hiatus from the world of college football, EA has announced that a new college football game is in the works.
In their press release, EA stated that college football games have been one of the most requested games. This motivated EA to revitalize the dead franchise. EA claims that their college football games will contain tons of content, including “more than 100 institutions featuring the logos, stadiums, uniforms, game-day traditions and more”.
EA has not released a college football title since NCAA Football 14 which was released in 2013. According to The Washington Post, the series was brought to a halt when EA and the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) were taken to court over “the unpaid use of player likenesses”. This problem did not remain limited to college football, and also manifested in other college sport games by EA such as the NCAA Basketball franchise where EA paid a settlement of $40 million after a former UCLA basketball player, Ed O’Bannon sued for his likeness being used without compensation or permission.
The revival of EA’s college football series will come with a host of changes. For instance, to avoid pesky legal issues, EA does not plan to use the names, images or likeness of any real college football players. Instead, the players in the game will have randomly selected names and attributes. Secondly, EA will not be working with the NCAA and instead has struck a deal with the CLC (Collegiate Licensing Company). The deal will allow them to become “the exclusive developer of simulation college football video game experiences”. Hence, as Daryl Holt reveals when talking to ESPN, the games will drop the NCAA part from the title and will simply be called EA Sports College Football.
— EASPORTSCollege (@EASPORTSCollege) February 2, 2021
EA has yet to announce a release date or specify what platforms their new games will release on. Until then, you can read our KeenGamer article to learn more about EA’s history with college football.