EA Sports will bring back its college football game

Reese's Senior Bowl
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For years, fans of football video games could buy the Madden version or the college version (or both). More than seven years after the last version of the EA Sports college football game was released, EA Sports has announced that the game is returning.

Via Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com, the game as initially envisioned won’t have actual names, images, and likenesses of players. That could change, based on the status of legislation and rules aimed at allowing college football players to receive marketing compensation.

“We’ll just keep tabs on everything as it develops and we’ll be ready,” EA Sports vice president and general manager Daryl Holt told Rothstein. “That won’t be a problem for us. But it’s really, that’s not an answer for us right now to decide. We’re as much passengers as anyone else. . . . So we make sure we deliver what our college football game players would want in a game. And that starts with just a very immersive experience and there’s lots of things we can do to bring the true college game play and game day to the virtual world.”

EA Sports stopped making the game due to the name, image, and likeness issue, which culminated in a $60 million settlement of a federal class action by the NCAA and EA in 2015.

Holt told Rothstein that there’s no specific date for a return of the game, but  that it won’t return later this year. If it returns without licensing the names, images, and likenesses of players, it will be important for EA Sports to deliberately avoid the creation of players who may look or perform like their potential human counterparts.

Obviously, having the actual players in the game will make the product more valuable. Having deals with former players (like the Madden Ultimate Team does) will help the cause, too.

It could be that EA Sports has returned to the space fully intending to embrace the looming ability to pay players for their names, images, and likenesses. Perhaps the knowledge that EA Sports is ready to go with a college football game will help get the appropriate laws and rules in place, so that everyone — including the players — can receive fair compensation for a product that surely will generate millions of dollars.

11 responses to “EA Sports will bring back its college football game

  1. Now all we need is EA to lose it’s rights to the NFL so that 2K can return. God knows Madden was trash (and is even worse now) and 2K was king.

  2. Thank you baby Jesus! Not a fan of college ball but the video game is hands down better than Madden.

  3. We can only hope is as high quality as the new Madden (sarcasm off). PS, old NCAA never had names, only a general likeness (like fat white guy who is #65). I guess the solution is just to randomize the rosters completely with skinny line men and really fat wide receivers until someone comes up with an accurate roster upload that is non EA sanctioned that we can download (like in the old days).

  4. There are very few schools where you could put together a recognizable roster of offensive and defensive players.

  5. kcsam76 says:
    February 2, 2021 at 1:05 pm
    Now all we need is EA to lose it’s rights to the NFL so that 2K can return. God knows Madden was trash (and is even worse now) and 2K was king.
    Exactly. Take-Two Interactive is King.

  6. Just make the players look like garbage pail kids and no one will claim identity rights.

  7. If they go with the old system of players with numbers but not real names, they should be safe and maybe could have been in recent years but didn’t risk it. The old game IIRC also generated random names for new players when you played dynasty mode. This game also had glitches that led to my favorite video game player of all time. A 6 inch tall, 240 LB 4-star LB recruit. Yes, you read that right. Best player of all time, I landed him to my startup program. On defense, he blew guys up when it looked like nobody was covering them. I also used him as a RB sometimes but had to limit carries since he tired quickly. When he got the ball though, he was good for 10 yards per carry as defenders dove and missed at what appeared to be a loose ball rolling up the field. Eventually someone would get him but he never fumbled. Just like Atlas lifting the ball with ant size strength. I miss that old game…

  8. I know its not NCAA, but if anyone has tried Madden on PS5, its the worst football game I have ever played. I used to wait outside Gamestop on the release date for Madden and NCAA every year from 2001-2013, I think I’m done after burning money on this. You’ll do things like run prevent defense and the other person does play action so everyone blitzes. Its stupid buggy, makes me long for the days of PS3 NCAA.

  9. Good. I always enjoyed the team-building aspects of these games more than participating as a player.

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