The recent bills that have been proposed and passed over the past few months have peaked the interest of fans of the old NCAA video games. And the reason for that is paying student-athletes for using their name and likeness could pave the way for the return of the NCAA Football or NCAA Basketball series. Now, we have some news on whether the man who runs EA wants to bring it back.
EA and the Future of NCAA Video Games
On Monday, Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson spoke at the Wall Street Journal Tech Conference in Laguna Beach, CA. Wilson spoke about the future of NCAA video games now that legislation has been passed in California that would allow student-athletes to receive financial compensation for using their name and likeness. Wilson told Sarah Needleman of the Wall Street Journal that he hopes that this legislation would “clear the way for college sports to return to video games.” He also added that EA would “jump for the opportunity” to make another NCAA video game.
— Sarah E. Needleman (@saraheneedleman) October 22, 2019
This is great news for fans of the old NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball series. With the CEO of Electronic Arts, the company who produced those games, saying on the record that he would like to see the franchise come back, it sounds like if all goes well, we may be closer to the return of those franchises then we may have thought. However, there still is one major obstacle in their path: the NCAA.
The NCAA remains the biggest obstacle, as they have not formally approved the decision to allow student-athletes to receive financial compensation. Sure, the state of California has signed the Fair Pay to Play Act into law, but that doesn’t mean the NCAA is fine with this bill. The NCAA previously threatened to ban all schools from postseason play in California when the bill was proposed, and we still don’t know their opinions on the issue just yet. We will most likely get a better idea when the NCAA “working group” releases their report on the issue later this year.
Fans of the NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball series haven’t had much to cheer about since the release of NCAA Football 2014, but this calendar year has provided those people with a lot of positivity. While we aren’t immediately closer to the release of a new game, we are closer thanks to new legislation and the willingness of game developers to produce new NCAA video games.
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