EA Sports is relaunching its college football series for next-generation consoles. Announcement on Tuesday that the break will end The game has lasted since then – Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson appeared on the cover of NCAA Football 14.
There is still a lot to be clarified about what the game will be like, how it will be set up, and when it will be available. But college football is back to game consoles (at some point).
Here’s what we know and what we don’t.
Why is EA Sports bringing the video game back now?
A relaunch of the game has been discussed within EA Sports since the last edition of the game in the 2013 season. It was a very popular title at the time of his retirement, and his return remained high on the company’s priority list.
EA Sports actually dropped a couple of Easter eggs indicating the possibility. In the last two editions of Madden, some college football programs have been added as part of the game’s Face of the Franchise story mode. EA Sports vice president and general manager Daryl Holt told ESPN that while it wasn’t a conscious decision to do this as a test run for the return of a college football game, there has been positive feedback and returns, especially on these College markets.
“That was another check mark – we know [fans] itch and we know we can design and deliver a great college football experience, “said Holt.” So why are we waiting?
“So the question may not be so much ‘why now’ or ‘why not now?'”
EA Sports recently began assembling a strategy and development team, leading to the announcement on Tuesday.
When can i play the game?
At this point, no one from EA Sports would commit to when the game could return or even an appointment to announce a start date. For now, consider this message a commitment for the game to return at some point.
One thing is certain, though: Holt said it won’t happen this year.
What will be in the game?
It is still unclear. It is very early in the process.
EA Sports works with the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) – the licensing partner for many schools – to ensure the use of the stadiums, uniforms, mascots, traditions and names for over 100 teams in the FBS. Holt said the game itself will be “a deep, immersive experience that is a truly open game for college football”. What this looks like remains to be determined and may depend on continued technology in the next-gen PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X gaming systems.
It could have a possible connection to Madden – in previous iterations, for example, you could import design classes from NCAA Football into Madden. According to Holt, EA Sports looks at things in terms of what’s part of a football career, but the company is still in experimental mode.
Holt said EA Sports start playing the game, make sure it’s strong, and then go from there.
“Regardless of whether it’s a reinterpretation or a further development of things that were previously in the game, or new things and new ways of playing, I don’t want to go into the details of what we’re already planning and what we’re going to put into it.” Said Holt. “But it will be something that if our core fans appreciate and love NCAA 14 they will love this game because that’s just the starting point.”
Does the NCAA have to change its rules before the game can return?
No. Current NCAA rules prohibit EA Sports from paying players to use their names, images, and likenesses in-game. If these rules are still in effect at the time the game is released, EA Sports plans to include real details like team names, mascots, and uniforms, but nothing that would resemble the real players on these rosters.
EA Sports announced it would end the 2013 college football game just before the company agreed to pay a portion of the $ 40 million reported to former college players to resolve a lawsuit filed by former UCLA basketball player Ed O ‘ Enclose Bannon. The lawsuit argued that it was illegal for EA Sports to sell a game with characters strikingly similar to real athletes without paying those athletes.
While O’Bannon was sometimes mistakenly blamed for the game’s demise, the company said at the time that it was ceasing production because the NCAA and some conferences were no longer interested in licensing their logos and names to game makers, what prevented them from creating an authentic game experience. These schools are ready to work with EA Sports again. Holt did not comment on why these partnerships were revived but insisted that there is currently nothing stopping EA Sports from producing the game.
How will the current debate about NIL rules (name, image and likeness) affect the game?
While real gamers don’t to have to be included in the new version of the game, them could to be included when future legislation allows college athletes to negotiate as a group. The NCAA – under pressure from state and state legislators – is changing its rules to allow athletes to benefit from endorsements in the future. It is not yet clear whether these new capabilities will include the ability to organize group license agreements.
For professional sports video games, the game maker will typically negotiate a price with the league union for all players’ NIL rights. The union then ensures that each player receives a portion of the total payment. The NCAA says players can’t unionize because they’re students, not employees. While a traditional union is not essential to building the collective bargaining organization, NCAA officials have tried to steer clear of any agreements that would provide a mechanism for athletes to bargain as a group.
However, the NCAA may not be able to set the terms for future NIL rules. Congress is expected to look at reform and compensation for college sports in the relatively near future – most likely before EA Sports is ready to launch its new game. At least two of the proposals under consideration by the Senate aim to guarantee future university athletes the right to collective bargaining. With any of these options signed into law, EA Sports will have the door open to negotiate with players and create more realistic rosters.
“We’ll just keep an eye on everything as it develops and we’ll be ready,” said Holt.
What will the game be called?
The name changes. Gone is the name of the NCAA football series. In its place will be EA Sports College Football. According to Holt, this is the branding the company works with and wants to use.
“It all really starts with where we see college football,” said Holt. “A lot happens and a lot happens in sport. EA Sports College Football gives us a name and a brand to work on some things that could develop and what we really focus on, the goal that is actually the FBS Division I School and which is the route to the College Football Playoffs and College Football Championship.
“We believed EA Sports College Football was the right name for the product not only now, but also as it continues.”
What else has to be determined?
Holt said the early focus at EA Sports was on building a team to develop the game and work on its design.
“Right now the focus has been more on the partnership with CLC, the design aspects and early innovations that we are working on that may have a long tail,” he said. “And then build a team and bring the team together internally and externally to make a great game.”