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NCAA Football

(Via EA Sports)

Why Did EA Sports Cancel NCAA Football?

NCAA Football
(Via EA Sports)

After the release of NCAA Football ’14, legal battles halted the production of the game series. The improper use of athletes’ likeness froze new installments of the series.

For example, the video game did not use players’ names, but used their skill sets, attributes, and general appearances.

Ed O’Bannon, former UCLA basketball star, headed the legal battle against EA Sports. O’Bannon led an antitrust class-action lawsuit against the NCAA that named EA Sports and the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) as co-defendants, arguing that the NCAA was wrongfully using athletes’ images commercially, according to Sports Illustrated.

The lawsuit eventually settled with nearly 20,000 players on a $60 million payout. EA paid players from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars for using their likeness in the game.

EA expressed interest in paying players for their likeness, and even including players’ names. In conclusion, the NCAA’s unwillingness to pay players while in school halted EA from continuing to produce the game.

What does the future look like for EA Sport’s NCAA Football?

After 8 years of waiting, fans can finally expect a new release soon.

The NIL controls how players can use their name, image, and likeness. The recent ruling passed on July 1, 2021, “allows all NCAA, D1, D2, and D3 student-athletes to be compensated for their NIL”.

EA just needs to figure out how to properly endorse players featured in the game.

Currently, EA plans the release, for the first time in a decade, slated for summer 2023.

Many questions remain as to how the game will operate and how players’ likenesses will be used. Nevertheless, fans can expect the first installment in almost a decade.

The Collegiate Licensing Company announced that “…game development is in full swing, and the launch goal remains summer of 2023”.

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