Major news was dropped today by the NCAA, as their board unanimously voted to allow student-athletes to profit off their name and likeness. While these changes won’t go into full effect until 2021, the impacts of this move affect the collegiate landscape now. And one of those will be the potential return of NCAA video games.

NCAA and Video Games

Licensed NCAA video games have been extinct since the release of NCAA Football 14. The reason being was the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit, as the NCAA lost that suit in 2014 after O’Bannon’s likeness was used without his permission in NCAA video games, DVD’s and photos. And with the NCAA seeming unwilling to budge on allowing athletes to receive compensation, it didn’t seem like bringing the franchise would ever come back.

But with the NCAA’s decision today, there’s now renewed hope the NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball games may return. Here’s now at a look at why the return of these series may be coming closer.

NCAA Changing its Bylaws

The first reason is based off of what happened today, as the NCAA recommend that its divisions change their bylaws to allow student-athletes to receive compensation for their name and likeness. This decision would allow game developers to pay collegiate athletes to use their name and likeness in NCAA-licensed video games.

Willingness From Game Developers

As we reported last week, there’s interest from game publishers to bring back the series. EA CEO Andrew Wilson said last week at the Wall Street Journal Tech Conference that his company would “jump for the opportunity” to make another NCAA video game. And considering that EA has the history of making those games, it wouldn’t be surprising if they were the ones to bring back the series.

Interest From Gamers

With the decision to allow student-athletes to receive financial compensation for their name and likeness, the door is now open for developers to make an NCAA-licensed video game. However, there would still be two key elements that need to be addressed before the idea of those game returning. The first element is whether developers would want to make an NCAA-themed game. The answer to that is yes, but there’s still another question that needs to be answered: Would gamers want the series to return?

While the hardcore NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball fans would obviously like to see the two series return, those gamers may not be enough for developers to profit from the franchise. But given the reaction on social media regarding the NCAA’s decision, it’s clear that there is a large base of gamers that want to see these series return:

Considering the amount of people that want to see the return of the NCAA Football series, it’s only a matter of time before NCAA video games return to prominence.

What do you think about the NCAA’s decision today? Are you excited for the potential return of the NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball series? Let us know in the comments section and on our social media channels. And be sure to keep checking out the SGO site for more gaming news.


Want to talk sports and/or games with the fastest growing community in gaming? Join the conversation by registering at the official Sports Gamers Online Forums, and check out our Twitter and Facebook pages as well as our growing YouTube Channel!