In disappointing, but not wholly shocking news in the entertainment world, EA sports stated it will be discontinuing its NCAA Football franchise as of next year.
A statement from EA Sports read: “Today I am sad to announce that we will not be publishing a new college football game next year, and we are evaluating our plan for the future of the franchise. 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.”
The decision has come after a series of lawsuits coming from former players for likeness rights and compensation for such usage. The problem of using player likeness on somewhat shaky legal ground has finally come back to plague the videogame franchise.
“We have been stuck in the middle of a dispute between the NCAA and student-athletes who seek compensation for playing college football,” The statement continued. Then saying, “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 Meanwhile, the NCAA and a number of conferences have withdrawn their support of our game.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.”
During July, the NCAA announced it would not have anything to do with the series as a whole. The company looked to attain Collegiate Licensing Company, which would allow it to use school names still, only to find out that many schools were unwilling to participate.
“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.”
Until impending compensation suits are handled, the game is likely indefinitely stalled.
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