EA Sports made an announcement in February of last year that it was bringing back its beloved College Football video game, to the delight of college football fans everywhere.
Since the announcement was made, Name, Image, and Likeness may have made things even easier for EA as the NCAA can no longer govern athletes’ financial compensation.
After all, the reason the game was shut down after NCAA 14 was because players, who’s likeness was used in the video game, couldn’t be compensated for such and a lawsuit arose, forcing EA to shut it down.
With that issue out of the way, we will be getting the College Football title in 2023, and a recent Open Record Request from Extra Points With Matt Brown might have revealed the release date.
Among the documents found was EA Sports’ proposal for the new game, which reads:
“EA’s aim is to release a stand-alone college football game in July of 2023, allowing for the two-year game development window necessary for collecting game assets and developing game play to meet the current market demands for a unique college football game while following NCAA guidelines.”
In a separate document, EA said that “game development is in full swing,” and that the “launch goal is still summer of 2023.”
The last big hurdle standing in the way of this game being made the way that EA envisions it is the avenue by which it will pay athletes for their likeness in the game. For this to happen, EA will need to secure a group license, which could prove difficult considering there isn’t an overarching entity like a players’ union or collective bargaining group to handle this sort of transaction.
However, Brown has some promising news in his report regarding this issue.
“I’m told there is optimism that the framework for a college football player video game group license could be announced as early as this summer,” Brown writes. “There was some hope it could have happened even earlier, but some shakeups in the college group license industry has made things a teensy bit more complicated. I’m told that when the framework of an agreement is announced, the licensing agent won’t have anywhere close to every college football player, but will hope to sign the rest up after securing rights for a critical mass of athletes.”
Now, if for some reason EA cannot secure some sort of collective agreement with players, there is still a plan in place to launch the game.
“In the very unlikely event that EA is unable to secure player likenesses, the video game is still schedule to publish,” Brown says. “But it will not include every single FBS program. According to the 2021 memo, such a game would also not include the ability to edit rosters.”
Either way, it appears that the return of EA Sports College Football title is imminent, and that alone is cause for celebration.
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