"We have been stuck in the middle of a dispute between the NCAA and student-athletes."
After multiple developments that saw the NCAA, several college football conferences, and one unnamed school pull the licensing for logos from future planned editions of 'NCAA Football,' which was planned to continue as 'College Football,' Electronic Arts has announced that they "will not be publishing a new college football game next year." The announcement coincides with an undisclosed settlement arising from the multiparty lawsuit involving EA and past college athlete likeness licensing concerns. p>
"This is as profoundly disappointing to the people who make this game as I expect it will be for the millions who enjoy playing it each year. I’d like to explain a couple of the factors that brought us to this decision.
"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 Meanwhile, the NCAA and a number of conferences have withdrawn their support of our game.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."
"At EA SPORTS, college football has always been a labor of love, and it is unfortunate that these business and legal issues have impacted our ability to make next year’s game. This franchise has been developed by a team that is deeply committed to the tradition and culture of this sport – that’s why fans have always loved it. We are working to retain the talented people who are part of the team by placing them elsewhere within the EA SPORTS organization."
EA plans to disperse the 'NCAA College Football' development team which has resided at EA Tiburon along with the 'Madden' football.
EA has further stated the end of the series will not "affect our committment to" this year's game, 'NCAA Football 14.' With the game's ability to support custom rosters, it is likely that the community will make roster updates for years to come.
'NCAA Football' was the last video game involving collegiate sports. Other titles, such as college basketball games have long been out of production. Ultimately, while many people declare the end of a 'NCAA Football' as victory against EA, the demise of the series just goes to show how easy a target video games are. EA had been listed as the largest source of license revenue for college sports after apparel makers.
Source: Electronic Arts
Author: Brian Hoss