EA plans to bring back college football to video games

First college football game for EA since 2013

Ohio State wide receiver Garrett Wilson catches a touchdown pass in front of Alabama defensive back Brian Branch during the second half of an NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Ohio State wide receiver Garrett Wilson catches a touchdown pass in front of Alabama defensive back Brian Branch during the second half of an NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ORLANDO, Fla. – EA Sports is bringing college football back to home video game consoles.

The company posted the announcement on Twitter Tuesday morning.

Electronic Arts also rolled out a new social media handle to go along with the game’s announcement: @EASPORTScollege

In a news release on the company’s website, EA announced it is working with College Licensing Company to “be the exclusive developer of simulation college football video game experiences.”

The two companies plan to work together to include the logos, stadiums, uniforms and gameday traditions of more than 100 schools in the game, according to the news release.

Currently, the game will not include any student-athlete names, images or likenesses, according to EA. The NCAA does not allow athletes to sell their “NIL” rights.

In general, to maintain NCAA eligibility, Division I student-athletes may not promote or endorse a commercial product or service, even if they are not paid to participate in the activity.

Athletes may use their image to continue participating in nonathletically related promotional activities if they were initiated before college enrollment.

NCAA

Last month the NCAA put on hold plans to pass legislation to allow NIL payments to athletes from third parties, with some limitations, because of scrutiny from the Department of Justice. Multiple bills have been introduced in Congress that address college athletes and NIL rights, along with the NCAA’s ability to oversee the issue.

Numerous states have been acting on their own NIL bills, some scheduled to go into effect later this year. That includes Florida after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the collegiate athletics bill at the University of Miami last June.

The bill allows athletes to earn money through social media and other platforms as well as other opportunities, like paid endorsement deals.

“If EA Sports wants to do NCAA football, and they’re going to have some of these guys who, you know, are great players and they’re going to use their name image and likeness ... then there can be some compensation for that,” DeSantis said at the time of the signing.

The Florida law goes into effect in July.

EA Sports said it is continuing to watch developments on those rules.

It’s not clear yet where the game will be developed; however, the Orlando-based Tiburon Studio is likely a top contender. The EA campus has worked on several previous sports titles, including the Madden series and the last entry in EA’s previous college football franchise, NCAA Football 2014.

The new franchise will not carry the NCAA name, instead, its going with the new name EA Sports College Football.

So far, no release date has been set for the new game series.


About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.