EA Sports’ beloved college football video game is coming back.
Electronic Arts on Tuesday announced that development is underway on a new franchise titled EA Sports College Football. While the publisher did not offer a launch date or window, and said it was announcing “the expected return” of its college series, the company did say the game would have “more than 100 institutions, featuring the logos, stadiums, uniforms, gameday traditions and more that fans have come to know and love.”
Importantly, though, it will not have the real names or likenesses of current college football players. The unauthorized use of college players’ likenesses is what led to the 2013 cancellation of the first NCAA Football series, when EA Sports and CLC (its licensing partner in the new publishing venture) settled a class-action claim brought by former players for more than $40 million.
The last entry in EA’s previous college football franchise was NCAA Football 14, which was released in July 2013. In the intervening years, individual schools have cameoed in the career modes of EA Sports’ Madden NFL and 2K Sports’ NBA 2K series, but not the full 128 members of the NCAA’s top football classification (and there are more in college basketball).
The NCAA itself has discussed changing rules that prohibit college football and basketball players from being compensated for the use of their names, images, and likenesses while playing for their university.
EA said it and CLC are “continuing to watch those developments closely.”
In an interview with ESPN, EA Sports vice president and general manager Daryl Holt said the new college football video game is very early in its development; ESPN says “it won’t happen this year.”
Polygon has reached out to Electronic Arts representatives for more details.
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