I’m sure there will be much rejoicing concerning this news.
EA Sports is coming back to college football.
After last making a college football video game in 2013, the possibility of the game returning had been in limbo. Now, it isn’t. EA Sports vice president and general manager, Daryl Holt, told ESPN the game maker will be returning to the space with “EA Sports College Football.”
“As we look for the momentum that we’re building on in sports, it all starts with the passion of our fans and the opportunities of what they are interested in,” Holt said. “I don’t think a visit where I go outside wearing a piece of EA Sports branded apparel, that someone doesn’t go, ‘Hey, when is college football coming back?'”
It will — at some point. Holt said there is not a date on when the game will return or even a date where the return will be announced other than it won’t be coming back for this year.
To make the game happen, EA Sports partnered with collegiate licensing company CLC to make sure they had the FBS schools, traditions, uniforms and playbooks — among other things — ready to go for the game. Over 100 teams will be in the game.
For now, EA Sports is planning to move forward without rosters that include the names, images or likenesses of real college players. Current NCAA rules prohibit athletes from selling their NIL rights while in college.
“For now”, eh? The thing is, that was how the game was set up before and that didn’t stop EA Sports from being sued. So what might be changing? You probably can guess what the company is expecting.
However, those rules are likely to be changed at some point in the coming year — either by the NCAA, state legislatures or Congress. It’s not yet clear if the evolving rules will allow for the kind of group licensing arrangements that would be needed for EA Sports to negotiate with athletes to use their names in the game.
The company claims it’s going forward no matter what. We’ll see.
By the way, “Holt said the plan for the reboot will be to not have the NCAA name, but to use ‘EA Sports College Football.'”.