The NCAA Football series could be returning from EA in the future, thanks to potential upcoming changes in the college sports landscape.
NCAA Football 14 was the last game that publisher Electronic Arts released that was related to college sports before legal matters forced the NCAA to end its licensing agreement with EA. This was due in part to how player likeness was used in the franchise which saw the college athletes themselves not being compensated for what was clearly supposed to be in-game representations of themselves, even if the games in question never used their names.
Now, it seems that EA is hoping that its college football and basketball games of the past could be returning, thanks to a new law in California. Planned to take effect in 2023, this new law will allow college athletes to profit off of their likeness and earn endorsements, which the NCAA itself has never allowed. Assuming that this law works out as intended, it could drastically change the landscape of college sports and let players to earn money in ways that they’ve never been able to previously.
As a byproduct, it also potentially opens the door to the return of franchises like NCAA Football, too, which is something that EA definitely seems to be interested in. Speaking at The Wall Street Journal Tech Live conference recently, EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson stated that the company “would jump for the opportunity” to once again make college sports titles.
There’s obviously still quite a long way to go before this hope on EA’s part becomes a reality, but the groundwork has definitely been made by this new California ruling to make this happen. The NCAA, and many universities for that matter, have already fought back and lobbied against this law as it is. It’s hard to tell at this very moment how all of this might play out.
Regardless of the outcome of this situation in the coming years though, the return of the college sports video games from EA still seems quite a way off, even if the desire to make more installments is there.