EA Sports NCAA Football was always a fan favorite. From being able to play with a team of mascots to creating your own player and living out his college career in Road to Glory, the game was widely adored.
However, amid controversy surrounding the usage of players’ images and likenesses, the game ended its run with NCAA Football 14, which came out in July 2013. It was then when gamers realized they didn’t know what they had until it was gone.
That’s all set to change though.
On Tuesday, EA Sports revealed via its official Twitter account that the college football video game is set to return. News did break last April that this could happen.
— EA SPORTS (@EASPORTS) February 2, 2021
What We Know So Far:
It’s unclear when exactly the next edition of the game will be released, but it might not be for another few years. What some people may not realize is that there are a number of details that need to be worked out prior to the ultimate release.
Player Names & New Game Title
According to Michael Rothstein and Dan Murphy of ESPN, EA Sports is teaming up with the Collegiate Licensing Company in order to use over 100 FBS programs’ names, uniforms, mascots, as well as stadiums.
The main issue is the names/likenesses of players, and at the moment, the NCAA doesn’t allow EA Sports to pay players to use those aspects. Thus, there’s a chance the eventual new edition of the game — which will be named EA Sports College Football instead of EA Sports NCAA Football — doesn’t include any sort of image or likeness related to the players.
A $40 million lawsuit was settled not too long after EA Sports announced the end of the NCAA Football video games — EA Sports was required to pay part of that to former college athletes whose likenesses and appearances were used.
Madden Inclusion Lead To Change
The idea for a new game has been around for quite some time, to the point where college football was actually included in each of the last two Madden NFL video games. In the “Face of the Franchise” game mode, in which you create a player and play out his career, there were a few collegiate programs you could choose from to play for prior to the NFL Draft.
EA Sports VP and general manager Daryl Holt spoke on the inclusion of college football programs in Madden and how it led to this decision by EA Sports to ultimately return to the college football realm.
“That was another checkmark to go — we know [the fans] are itching for it and we know we can develop and deliver a great college football experience,” he told ESPN. “So why are we waiting?”
Release Date…..Not So Fast My Friends
According to ESPN, EA Sports only recently began constructing their strategy and development team for the game, so it will take some time for EA Sports College Football to come out on the market.
For the first time since 2014, EA Sports is bringing back their college football video game.
But what about name, image, and likeness?
Here's everything you need to know.
— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) February 2, 2021
It’s additionally interesting to think if this will pave the way for other college athletics video games to eventually be released as well. EA Sports used to make a college basketball video game. The last edition — NCAA Basketball 10 — was released in November 2009.