The last time football fans were able to play a college football video was 2013 when Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson appeared on the cover of NCAA Football 2014. EA Sports NCAA Football was one of the most popular yet controversial sports video games of them all.
With modes like Road to Glory, Dynasty, Play Now and the ability to play as a team full of mascots EA’s NCAA Football offered nearly everything you could want. EA Sports also makes the Madden NFL video game and for years the two were very similar, just one was college football and one was the NFL.
EA Sports Announces NCAA Football Video Game
In early February EA Sports announced that a new spin of EA Sports NCAA Football would be returning to the new next-generation consoles the Playstation 5 and the Xbox Series X. It is unclear exactly when this game will be released as things are in the extremely early stages.
The announcement of the return of a college football fan got fans of the old NCAA football series excited and both former and current college football players and fans took to social media to voice their excitement.
“That was another just checkmark to go,” said Daryl Holt EA Sports vice president and general manager. “We know [fans] are itching for it and we know we can develop and deliver a great college football experience,” Holt said.
For Holt and EA Sports, it is going to be a challenge to relaunch the series but they are up for it.
Holt is not exactly sure just yet what fans should expect and how much they will change from the original game, but he is confident whatever EA Sports produces will be something fans of the discontinued series will love.
“It will be something that our core fans if they appreciated and loved NCAA 14, they will love this game because that’s just the starting point,” Holt said.
Why Hasn’t There Been a Game Since 2013?
For a long time now colleges and athletes have disagreed about the name, image, and likeness. In the NCAA it is illegal for student-athletes to profit off of their name, image, and likeness, but it seems as if that might be changing soon.
Legislators in different states feel that it is unfair that the NCAA continues to block student-athletes from profiting off of their name and shortly states will make it allowed, but still challenging the NCAA.
In EA Sports NCAA Football each team would be designed exactly how it would appear on the field on game day. The old video game would create each team’s roster similarly to how it does in Madden, but instead of putting players’ names, they would simply identify them by their number.
In 2013 multiple conferences pulled their trademark licenses from EA and instantly one of the most popular video games out there disappeared. EA Sports will be calling the new edition of the game EA Sports College Football dropping the NCAA from its name.
Notre Dame Doesn’t Want In!
Now EA Sports has a long way to go to secure licenses with each school to use the college or university name, mascots, stadiums, and uniforms for all of the major schools, but one big-name university, the University of Notre Dame said they won’t be in until players profit from the name, image, and likeness.
Notre Dame’s Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said that the Fighting Irish will not be in the game until the name, image, and likeness rules are finalized.
“As those rules are developed, it is our strong desire that student-athletes be allowed to benefit directly from allowing their name, image, and performance history to be used in the game,” Swarbrick said.
Notre Dame is the first major university opposing the new game. As of right now, no other colleges have commented on if they are in or out. EA Sports will be working with the Collegiate Licensing Committee to gain the rights to all teams for the new game.