After the huge news broke Wednesday regarding the NCAA and the fall of its archaic principles, sports gamers quickly had one thing on their collective minds. “What does this mean for EA Sports College Football?”
While fans patiently await EA’s 2023 college football return, the gaming publisher released a statement following the legalization of name, image, and likeness across the country.
EA Sports Official Statement on Real Players in College Football
“We are watching the recent developments regarding student-athlete name, image and likeness very closely. It’s still very early stages at this point, 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 the game authentically showcases the great sport of college football and the more than 100 institutions signed on to be featured in our game.”
It remains to be seen how exactly EA will navigate this new system in college athletics. That said, the company remains open to exploring the possibility of including real-life college athletes in its game for the very first time. For the longest, the NCAA Football titles operated in a legal grey area, using unnamed rosters with the same numbers, attributes, and physical features as the athletes it was replicating. That was until 2013, when a class action lawsuit filed by former NCAA players forced EA Sports to retire its college football series.
Authentic college rosters and player likenesses would be an enormous get for EA Sports College Football. Actual players and coaches would make for an upgrade to both depth and visuals. Not to mention, it could lead to a return of two of the best features from the golden era of NCAA Football games. Importing draft classes, and importing your Campus Legend to continue his career in Madden‘s Superstar mode. That kind of continuity is part of what made those previous titles special.
EA, however, is a very different company now than it was back then. But, hey, we can dream can’t we?