EA Sports announced on Feb. 2 that a college football game is in the works and will be releasing for next-generation consoles, though no release date has been announced.
It has been over six years since any college football game has been released, with NCAA Football 14 coming out in 2013 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. After the release of NCAA Football 14, the NCAA announced it will not renew its contract with EA due to an ongoing legal issue regarding the use of player likenesses in video games. Although the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) extended its deal with EA through 2017, the series was put on hiatus after three major conferences – the SEC, Big Ten and Pac-12 – pulled their licenses from EA.
Since then, no new college football games have been released, much to the dismay of fans. Even so, fans have been regularly updating NCAA Football 14 with rosters which reflect current players and teams, showing the staying power the game had within that community.
However, fans of the series will be glad to know that a college football game is coming, thanks to an announcement tweet by EA Sports.
Daryl Holt – EA Sports’ vice president and general manager – said that EA has teamed up with the CLC to make sure it had specific schools, traditions, uniforms and playbooks ready for the game, according to ESPN. The new game will feature over 100 teams with an important caveat: the rosters will not include the names, images or likenesses of real players, in compliance with current NCAA rules.
It remains to be seen whether or not those NCAA rules will be relaxed to allow players to use their likeness in other means so they may profit in the future. Currently, players are not allowed to profit off their likenesses and, if a player does, that particular player will be reprimanded. For now, EA Sports will be monitoring the situation for any changes.
Additionally, the new college football title is still very early in development, as EA Sports is still filling out the team and deciding what direction to take the series, according to Holt. The franchise will also ditch the “NCAA” branding and go strictly by EA Sports College Football.
While the announcement of a new college football game is great news for fans of the franchise, it has to be noted that this series is slated to release for next-generation consoles – because of the superior technology offered – and will not be releasing this year.
This might be an issue for some players considering it has been incredibly difficult to obtain a next-gen console because of product shortages – due to the pandemic – and scalpers hoarding said consoles and increasing the price by hundreds of dollars.
Nevertheless, by the time a new game comes out, retailers should have enough consoles in stock so that players that want one can get one at their own leisure. That said, there is no word yet on a release date as of now.