One of the most exciting reveals this year was the news that EA was going to resurrect the beloved NCAA Football franchise. Now, with the game still early in development and the latest rule reversal by the NCAA, EA may now end up including real-life college players and their likeness in these video games.
This news comes from Axios, who says a company rep reached out to them. After news of a major reversal in rules by the NCAA saying that athletes may now profit off their likeness, Electronic Arts says it is in the “early stages” of exploring the “possibility of including players in EA Sports College Football”. EA, who was already looking to include authentic logos, stadiums, uniforms, gameday traditions, and more in this newest installment, will now be able to strive for even more authenticity with real player names and likeness.
EA, who was once the subject of a major lawsuit from UCLA athlete Ed O’Bannon in 2009 over the use of college athletes likeness in the company’s NCAA Football series that resulted in a $60 million settlement, now has the option to use them again. This sudden rule change comes from a late-June ruling by the Supreme Court that prevents the NCAA from limiting academic benefits to college athletes. This decision was huge for athletes across the country, as this has been a long-debated topic for years. Now, EA can look to broker a deal to include these athletes in the long awaited franchise’s return.
Speaking to Axios, the unnamed EA representative says, “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”. EA, who has not included athlete’s likenesses since 2013, can now work with the Collegiate Licensing Company to include names along with stadiums, school names, teams, and much more.
The sport-simulation game juggernaut recently revealed details about Madden 22 as well. Improvements to Franchise Mode, Dynamic Gameday, and Momentum are just some of the many features EA has detailed in the last few weeks. Now, with the news of the NCAA’s reversal on collegiate profiting, EA can look to add these features and more to its highly-anticipated revival of NCAA Football. While the release may not come for some time, fans now have even more to look forward to until that day arrives.