EA Sports Is Reviving Its NCAA Football Video Game Series
It's finally happening. The tradition. The pageantry. The incomparable feeling of hopping into the life of a player or coach and experiencing all the thrills of a college football game.
Eight years ago, EA Sports released the final iteration of its ridiculously popular gaming franchise, NCAA Football 14. Tuesday morning, EA Sports announced the game will be making its long awaited return.
While fans of the series have waited a long time for this announcement, the wait will take a while longer. According to EA Sports vice president and general manager Daryl Holt via ESPN, the game will not release this year, as the game is very early in it's development. Whether that means 2022 or 2023 is yet to be determined, but that's the best guess at a release date window.
Holt told ESPN, however, the game will follow its predecessor's efforts to provide "a deep, immersive experience that has true wide-open game play for college football."
Details on the game are quite limited, however one thing is for certain: the game will not feature players and anything resembling their name, image or likeness in this game. Seeing as the Ed O'Bannon court case is what ultimately killed the series, it makes sense that this route will be avoided.
Still, should name, image and likeness rules be altered in the near future, as they are expected to be with many state legislations handling the matter of player amateurism, then EA Sports will "keep tabs on everything" and make the necessary adjustments.
When that very issue arose in 2019, EA Sports initially said the game wouldn't come back due to a lack of a players union or any sort of collective bargaining agreement between the NCAA and its players should anything move forward with player compensation.
That said, community rosters have been a feature in the NFL video game series Madden NFL for a few years and were often worked around in the original college football series. After all, players who rolled with the Alabama Crimson Tide wanted to play with AJ McCarron, not QB #10.
In fact, the most recent game, NCAA Football 14, survived through the past eight years in spite of this with community lead efforts to update rosters, schools, stadiums and more. In fact, as recently as New Years 2021, a strong effort called College Football Revamped aimed to completely update the game to a modern look with updated uniforms, rosters and even some teams. The mod can be played with a modded Xbox 360, PS3 or a gaming PC with a beefy CPU.
The next college football video game will feature the necessary updates fans would expect as EA Sports did reach licensing agreements through the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) to use over 100 FBS programs' uniforms, stadiums, traditions, mascots and more.
Holt held back on most of the finer details of what the next college football video game will look like when he spoke with ESPN.
"Whether [the gameplay is] a reimagining or an evolution of things that were in the game before or new things and new ways to play, I don't want to get into the details of what we're already planning and what we'll put in that," Holt said. "But it will be something that our core fans, if they appreciated and loved NCAA 14, they will love this game because that's just the starting point."