The upcoming EA Sports College Football revival game has officially been delayed until 2024. EA says that creating the game is a big undertaking and the studio wants to make sure it gets everything right, so the release has been pushed back from summer 2023.
The revival of EA Sports College Football was originally announced back in early 2021, when EA revealed it would bring the franchise back for the first time since 2014. It was later revealed that this deal would cover at least 4 games between 2023 and 2027, although that date has presumably been pushed back now owing to this delay.
EA revealed the delay in an interview with ESPN, wherein EA Sports VP Daryl Holt said that 2024 was "the best date" for the studio to release a game that's going to "meet or exceed our player expectations". Holt says the "breadth and scale" of EA Sports College Football should result in an "immersive" experience when the game is released.
Prior to EA's announcement, a delay was already expected thanks to a letter revealed by industry insider Matt Brown. The letter was sent from CLC development VP Dave Kirkpatrick to university athletic officials, and it reveals the delay to EA Sports College Football, as well as a plan for "athlete opt-ins" that's probably intended to allow college athletes to opt into being included in the game themselves. College football players can only earn money through licensing their names, images, and likenesses right now, so while we don't have details about this plan, it's probably in place to let athletes make the decisions.
The CLC email shown by Brown also points to an EA statement that was intended to be published here, although that link still doesn't lead anywhere at time of writing. Brown also has the statement, though, which confirms a summer 2024 release window and gives a little detail about gameplay modes including Dynasty and Road to Glory.
According to Holt, previous suggestions that EA Sports College Football would target a summer 2023 release were just conjecture, and the game hasn't been delayed. It's hard to believe that when the original deal appears to cover four games from 2023 to 2027, but that's the official line EA is taking. Holt also says the team wants to find a way to include real college players, incorporating their names, images, and likenesses (NIL) into the game.
Back in February, when this new EA college football game was revealed, issues around NIL were still up in the air, but EA has now told ESPN that players will receive compensation if they're included in the game. Holt says that in 2021, the road to securing likenesses and ensuring proper pay "was blocked", but now, it's "open", even though it's "still under construction".
Supposedly, EA has also secured the rights to at least 120 FBS schools, as well as every FBS conference and the College Football Playoff. In the ESPN interview, Holt refuses to be drawn on a lot of details regarding EA Sports College Football, including whether FCS schools will be included, details about the returning dynasty mode, or the inclusion of HBCUs.
It's worth reading through the full ESPN interview with Daryl Holt if you want to know the status of EA Sports College Football right now. Still, it's likely we won't get too much more in the way of detail until next year at the earliest. Stay tuned for more info on EA's next college football outing.