‘We plan to explore the possibility:’ EA considers licensing player likenesses for new college football video games

Company making first college sports game since 2013

Electronic Arts announced on Tuesday that its popular college football franchise would return.
Electronic Arts announced on Tuesday that its popular college football franchise would return. (Associated Press)

EA Sports is working to bring back its wildly popular college football video game franchise and is now considering licensing the likenesses of athletes for use in the game.

This comes as new laws take effect Thursday in several states, including Florida, allowing college athletes to make money off their names, images and likenesses. The NCAA also made a decision on Wednesday effectively suspending its restrictions on payments to athletes for things such as sponsorship deals, online endorsements and personal appearances. It applies to all three divisions or some 460,000 athletes.

Electronic Arts released a statement Thursday about its plans to “explore” licensing athletes’ likenesses for its new game.

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“We are watching the recent developments regarding student-athlete name, image and likeness very closely. It’s still very early stages at this point, and we plan to explore the possibility of including players in EA SPORTS College Football. For now, our development team is focused on working with our partners at CLC (College Licensing Company) to ensure the game authentically showcases the great sport of college football and the more than 100 institutions signed on to be featured in our game,” the company said in a statement sent by a spokesperson.

EA first announced its latest college football game in February. At the time, EA announced it is working with College Licensing Company to “be the exclusive developer of simulation college football video game experiences.”

The two companies said they 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.

Electronic Arts also rolled out a new social media handle to go along with the game’s announcement: @EASPORTScollege, however, the account has been silent since February.

The game, which is still in development, is the first college football game the company has developed since 2013 when the franchise used the NCAA name.

The new franchise will not carry the NCAA name, instead, it’s 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.