Earlier this year, EA Sports thrilled millions of fans by announcing the return of its NCAA Football video game series. On Thursday, the company released a statement following Wednesday’s NIL decision.
From EA Sports:
“We are closely monitoring recent developments regarding the name, image and likeness of student-athletes. We are still in the early stages at this stage, and we plan to explore the possibility of including players in EA SPORTS College Football. For now, our development team is focused on working with our partners at CLC to ensure that the game authentically presents the great sport of college football and the more than 100 institutions registered for appear in our game. “
MORE: NCAA NIL Rules, Explained
The last college football video game released by EA Sports was NCAA Football 14 with Michigan’s Denard Robinson on the cover. It’s been almost eight years to the day since this game’s release, and fans have been clamoring for a new version ever since.
But EA Sports has been forced to stop production of the game due to legal issues over the game’s use of player likenesses. However, the company pivoted its intention with the game by announcing its return in February. Details were scarce at the time, but EA Sports said the new version of the game would not feature any listings or resemblances to college football franchises. Team names, stadiums and other features had to be allowed and included in the series.
However, with the latest NIL decision, it looks like it’s now possible to include player likenesses. However, as their statement pointed out, it’s a bit too early to know for sure how that would work.
The company has a long time to figure this out, however, as the game isn’t expected to be released for some time. A leaked document, earned by Matt Brown from Extra Points, shows that EA Sports plans to release the game in July 2023.
I received another copy of EA Sports / CLC’s proposal to FBS Schools, dated January 15th, with less redaction than previous copies. Here is a little more information about the money schools can earn from gambling:
Appears to be a four year license proposal pic.twitter.com/tVNegAXd8P
– Matt Brown (@MattBrownEP) June 25, 2021
This gives EA Sports about two years to determine best practices for using player likeness in their game, assuming they do so at all.