Get ready to kick off with your favorite college teams — EA Sports College Football will be making its return for the first time since 2014, although player likeness rights are still up in the air.
EA Sports College Football is the result of a partnership between Electronic Arts and the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), the licensing representative for the National Collegiate Athletic Association. As with many past sports titles, EA will have an exclusive license to develop "simulation college football video game experiences" according to a press release.
"We’re very excited to collaborate with EA SPORTS to bring back the college football franchise, one of the most popular collegiate licensed products in our history," said CLC CEO Cory Moss. "The college football video game connects passionate fans to college brands and introduces new fans to the storied traditions, excitement, and game day experience that make college football unique."
EA Sports College Football Won't Include Actual Players
The return of your favorite teams in EA Sports College Football is certainly welcome news to fans who have been missing out on this level of sports; the most recent college football game released by EA was NCAA Football 14. However, this upcoming release won't include actual players.
Trouble has been brewing with college sports games since the mid-2010s. Back in 2014, a lawsuit against EA, the NCAA, and the CLC was settled to the tune of $%50 million dollars. Player likeness rights were the reason — believe it or not, student-athletes didn't get paid for their appearances in these games. A number of athletes received checks as part of this settlement in 2016
"While this college game will not include student-athlete names, images and likenesses, EA SPORTS is continuing to watch those developments closely."
This battle is not over, though. Another similar lawsuit was filed in mid-2020. This is likely one of many reasons why player likenesses and names won't be included in this game. That said, there will be more than 100 teams featured including their logos, stadiums, uniforms, gameday traditions, and more.
EA Sports College Football is still in early development — odds are, we won't see this game until sometime in late 2022 at the earliest. It seems that the player likeness issue is being negotiated in some fashion, too; we may see real-world players return in a subsequent release in this revived franchise.
Are you looking forward to playing EA Sports College Football whenever it comes out? Would the lack of real-world player names and likenesses be a dealbreaker for you? Let us know in the comments below!