EA Sports: No College Football Game Next YearBy: Sean Patterson - September 27, 2013
EA Sports, the publisher behind games such as Madden 25 and NCAA Football 14, this week announced that it will not be releasing a college football game next year. Developers who had been working on the project have been shuffled around to other positions within EA Sports, making it unlikely that the publisher is even working on a future replacement for the NCAA-branded football series.
The announcement comes just months after the NCAA announced that it would not be renewing its contract with EA Sports for the use of its name and logo in NCAA Football titles. The organization cited “the current business climate and costs of litigation” as a factor in its decision. The NCAA is currently dealing with legal disputes surrounding the use of student athlete names and likenesses in NCAA-branded products. Though the names of players were not used in the NCAA Football titles, their jersey numbers, physical stats, and even hair colors have been used in the games.
EA Sports GM of American Football Cam Weber cited similar reasons for today’s announcement, calling the publisher’s decision “profoundly disappointing” for both developers and fans. From Weber’s statement:
We have been stuck in the middle of a dispute between the NCAA and student-athletes who seek compensation for playing college football. Just like companies that broadcast college games and those that provide equipment and apparel, we follow rules that are set by the NCAA – but those rules are being challenged by some student-athletes. For our part, we are working to settle the lawsuits with the student-athletes. Meanwhile, the NCAA and a number of conferences have withdrawn their support of our game. The ongoing legal issues combined with increased questions surrounding schools and conferences have left us in a difficult position – one that challenges our ability to deliver an authentic sports experience, which is the very foundation of EA Sports games.
Though there will be no college football games from EA in the foreseeable future, the publisher has promised to continue supporting NCAA Football 14.