Posted September 26, 2013

EA Sports will not produce NCAA Football video game in 2014

EA Sports, O'Bannon v. NCAA
EA Sports

EA Sports has announced it will not produce an NCAA Football game next year. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

As a result of ongoing cases concerning the use of student-athlete likenesses, EA Sports will not release a version of its popular NCAA Football video games next year, the company announced on Thursday.

In a statement, Cam Weber, EA Sports GM of American football, cited ongoing legal challenges and a lack of support from the NCAA and conferences in the company’s decision to halt production of the game:

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.

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 Meanwhile, the NCAA and a number of conferences have withdrawn their support of our game.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.

In the meantime, we will continue to be connected and engaged with our fans who are playing EA SPORTS NCAA Football. Our decision does not affect our commitment to NCAA Football 14 and the consumers who love playing the game.

In July, the NCAA announced that it would not renew its contract with EA Sports. Reports originally indicated that EA Sports would release a video game without the NCAA’s name or logo called “College Football 15,” but the company’s decision today indicates there won’t be another installment of the franchise next year.

In August, the Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC all followed the NCAA’s lead and ceased licensing their name and trademarks to EA Sports.

The NCAA and EA Sports were co-defendants with Collegiate Licensing Company in a high-profile antitrust lawsuit put forth by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon. However, a report surfaced Thursday that EA and CLC have settled all claims with the plaintiffs, leaving the NCAA as the lone defendant in the case.

O’Bannon v. the NCAA seeks damages for the use of player likenesses in video games and television broadcasts, and the case is awaiting ruling on class-action certification.

48 comments
ChuckPittman
ChuckPittman

A labor of Love?


lmao wow thebullshit NCAA puts out is absolutely comical


Jim Bones
Jim Bones

All these pro people think about is money, what about the fans and love to play ea sports games.  Up yours! I will never support NBA again. I writing some letters to these conf. too.

tymmac007
tymmac007

I hope Ed O'Bannon dies a slow, painful death.

rjimenez4
rjimenez4

Uhmm I dont know if yall GAMERS or couch quarterbacks understand that NCAA has and is played by high school coaches and by high school players because it most closely resembles what hs and colleges run.  3-3 stack defense, 4-2-5....Zone read schemes, empy set looks with tunnel, slip and bubble screens, mutlple hb screens.... rhino and diamond formation "what Kapernick is running"... bottom line is its a valuable teaching tool to coaches and football players...plus it makes for good competition between the players....its sad that EAS ISNT going to make another game...I've been playing this game for the past 12 years and its the best out there.....

WK
WK

no big deal...


MichaelEldridge
MichaelEldridge

Just play this years version of the game.  It would have been the same game anyway.  Hell, you could go back to the 2008 version and not notice the difference. 

OwG
OwG

Ed O'Bannon is on the short list for the Troll of the Year Award. HAHAHA.

BobbyBangin
BobbyBangin

Now if only the NFL and FIFA would end their ridiculous exclusive licensing rights agreement with EA then other game publishers/developers could make better, more competitive sports games across different platforms. 2K5 was one of the best NFL games ever. Madden is getting bland. EA refused to make games for the Sega Dreamcast, which played a huge part in the demise of Sega consoles. EA is now doing the same thing to the Wii U. This is the first year that Nintendo won't see a Madden title since EA started releasing Madden on consoles, which is ironic seeing as EA found much of their original and early success riding the coattails of Nintendo and Sega console success. They have brought ugly politics into video gaming. It's practices like these that have had EA voted as the worst company in America for 2 years running.

MrCrumley
MrCrumley

The best part about this is: when they start making the game again, they can get the year right.

NoThanksESPNFacebook
NoThanksESPNFacebook

I almost fell out of my seat when the EA shill said making these games was a "labor of love" for them. Isn't this the same company that changes 1-2 things and then charges another 50-60 dollars for the "new" version. I mean there were a couple games they added 0 new things and even admitted it. The only time the word love is thrown around EA is when is comes to money.

gabe234310
gabe234310

What about the kids that play at the really small schools who know they will never make it to the NFL and know this is their claim to fame and don't want any money they just want to see their "likeness" in the game. WAY TO GO JERKS! 

gabe234310
gabe234310

Way to ruin it for everyone that loved playing that game you scrubs who are pissed they didn't make it to the NFL and now have to get a job.

Cool
Cool

Maybe I missed something here (usually do) so I will ask for some help here.  When EA says they "For our part, we are working to settle the lawsuits with the student-athletes"  do they mean they are looking to give payouts to these athletes?  Are there former athletes they are settling up with that we don't know about?  If they pay one player for being a part of their game, don't they have to pay all?  Please help me understand.

brighat
brighat

EA sucks. I have no respect for their company whatsoever.

josephfinn
josephfinn

Cue the NCAA blaming university employees (excuse me, student athletes) who reasonably want a share of the revenues they are responsible for.

IronGunz
IronGunz

NCAA Football 2006 was the best. The one with Desmond Howard on the front cover. It also has the best video game soundtrack. As well, it has a lost tradition of EA games, classic rosters. Like the greatest team of all time, the 1991 Miami Hurricanes, with star player, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

pipdmx33
pipdmx33

"At EA SPORTS, college football has always been a labor of love". A labor of love... and of millions of dollars. I love how EA is trying to make themselves sound like a charity that's losing it's funding. P.S. EA, your game has many of the same flaws it always has. If that's the product you put out when you love something, I'd be scared to see the product that you don't care about.

Korvyn
Korvyn

thank you o'bannon. since you weren't good enough to make it in the NBA you had to rob millions of us the enjoyment we so love so you could try to make some money


Rickapolis
Rickapolis

I think what EA means is that they are afraid of having to pay millions for making this game in the past and they are trying to cut their losses. Paying college athletes is a idea whose time has come. And the army of the NCAA will not be able to stop it. Agree with the idea or not, it is inevitable. All that is left to decide is the amount of the damages in the O'Bannon case.

biasedsportsfan
biasedsportsfan

ARE YOU KIDDING ME????? THIS IS SO STUPID!! GOD I HATE STUDENT ATHLETES NOW!!! There is literally NO reason EA shouldn't be able to make this game. This game is my favorite every year and now there isn't even going to be one just because some stupid kids are upset because they think they're being exploited? Welcome to the real world, right? Right? Gimme a break. Gimme a freakin' break. This case should be thrown out, and EA should be able to go back to doing whatever it wants.

BryanCustard
BryanCustard

@rjimenez4 would a game with all those same features, minuses the real-life component of how the "real" players play the game (i.e. the avatars mimicking real life skill levels of current players) be played as widely?


tymmac007
tymmac007

@MichaelEldridge You obviously haven't played this years version. They finally got the zone read offense to work and it works great!

BryanCustard
BryanCustard

@OwG Been asking myself for six months: Does Ed O'Bannon just ant to kill college sports? Cause thats the course of action he is taking

BobbyBangin
BobbyBangin

This latest announcement, that they won't make a game beginning in 2015, is just backlash from EA in an effort to make fans angry at the system and people that prevailed against EA. Part of the reason that we know it's backlash is because could still make college football games. The only problem is that they would no longer own exclusive rights the licensing and NCAA name. They don't want competition and they don't want consumers to have a choice. After years of practicing ruthless business ethics, EA has finally been outdone by their own game.

IronGunz
IronGunz

@NoThanksESPNFacebook You're the type of gamer who expects a game that comes out EVERY YEAR to have DRASTIC CHANGES, right? Graphically, these games reach a peak and stay there for about 5 or so years until the next generation console comes along that allows for more detail. EA just instituted the infinity engine which is pretty cool. But that's not enough. How many game modes do you need in a FOOTBALL game? Go To Class Mode? Where your created student athlete goes to Math class and you get to take his tests? Dorm Party Mode? Where you have dorm parties after big wins? I get it. HOMECOMING MODE! Can your Created Player win Homecoming King?!?! 

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

@josephfinn  

There's already a bunch of that -- some of it scorches the screen when you read it -- down below.

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

@Korvyn  

Tell you what...let the company you work for now, or you used to work for, make money off your name and picture, without giving you a dime.  I mean -- they're already PAYING you every week, already.  Why shouldn't they use whatever of yours they want, to turn a buck, however they want?  Right? 

pipdmx33
pipdmx33

@biasedsportsfan And I'll just steal that game right off of Best Buy's shelf. Screw EA, and screw Best Buy too! I want the game free!

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

@biasedsportsfan  

Tell you what...get semi-famous, then let the company you work for use your name and picture, free, forever.  

I'm guessing you wouldn't like that.

BryanCustard
BryanCustard

@tymmac007 @MichaelEldridge the zone read component is amazing on this version, they really did a bang up job making that work correctly. Before, it the QB kept the ball, he would get blasted in the backfield, or make it to the line. Now, they have it to where if you make the correct read, the reward is an open running lane for the qb to take off, like n real life lol

scBlais
scBlais

@BobbyBangin The NFL were the ones who wanted to give exclusive rights and opened it to bidding which EA won.  EA wanted out of the agreement a few years ago so the NFL significantly dropped the cost so a game would still go to market.  

As for College football they did not require exclusive rights as no other company wanted to make a game.  2K wants nothing to do with it.  They dropped their college basketball and football games do to low sales and have said they don't want to pay out the money for the licensing rights.

biasedsportsfan
biasedsportsfan

@IronGunz @NoThanksESPNFacebook Assuming you aren't an EA employee, I'm pretty sure every human person not employed by that particular corporation would agree that a $20 downloadable update or something each year would have provided about the correct amount of value for the amount of service and change EA has provided from year to year on those games. Unless you're the type of gamer who doesn't care whether someone sells you the same game you just bought before, as long as it has a shiny new cover. And updated real-player stats and likenesses. Oh wait, is that what we pay for each year?

MilkmanDan
MilkmanDan

@MidwestGolfFan @Korvyn Uh, MW Golfer, you do realize that's pretty much how corporations work, right? Any ideas you come up with while working there... Theirs. They shoot a commercial or training video and you're in it? Sign the release or lose your job. Etc.

junior18
junior18

@MidwestGolfFan @biasedsportsfan You're absolutely right GolfFan! It's horrible how these kids are exploited! Free education, books, room and board, meals, top-notch athletic training/coaching and facilities, and the exposure necessary to possibly make millions in professional athletics... it's CRIMINAL! 

 I hope one day my child gets exploited like that! I'd hate for him to have to be one of the unexploited kids that have to go tens of thousands of dollars in debt to go to school. 

 Wake up.

theboneman21
theboneman21

@MidwestGolfFan @MilkmanDan @Korvyn 

Yeah, and if not for the BRAND that Wooden helped craft, Ed O'Bannon is Eddie the Ice Cream man that a few dozen people in Lakewood know of from tearing up the blacktops.

Make no mistake, Ed O'Bannon was talented, but the UCLA BRAND is what made him a household name. A Brand that a non athlete turned into a mega brand.


Like it or not, UCLA is Wooden, not Alcindor, just as Duke is Coach K. Not Grant Hill or Christian Laettner  or Bobby Hurley or whoever.

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

P.S. Just because a big company does it, doesn't make it right.  I'm a capitalist free-market guy, but that kind of stuff often crosses the line into exploitation of employees.  Like the guy who invented Post-It notes.

theboneman21
theboneman21

The fundamental flaw in your argument is that it presupposes that my name and likeness would be bankable without their platform.

If I am bankable and a company wants my services licensed, they pay me. But if I am a nobody and I become bankable because of them, guess what ? It was their resources and investment that led to my bankability so yeah, they should have a return on their investment.

These jocks are given the opportunity to get a free, useful education. The fact that they enroll is surfing 101 because they don't want to work beyond the field is their own issue and they need their parents to advise them correctly.

theboneman21
theboneman21

@MidwestGolfFan @junior18 @biasedsportsfan 

Assuming a redshirt and medical redshirt, 6 years is for the player. A coach worth his salt is there longer.

A coach is part of the brand. Sometimes the coach is the brand. They provide the platform. Players come and go.


You are under the impression that the school is privileged to have Mr 5 star recruit. Wrong. Mr 5 star recruit has the privileged of being offered a scholarship to play under Nick Saban at Alabama.

Rolando McCalin leaves then there's Courtney Upshaw then there's CJ Mosely etc etc etc

The brand is the star power and the players are merely interchangeable parts.

Or perhaps you think Nick Saban has had the same 80+ players since 2007 ?

 

gabe234310
gabe234310

@MidwestGolfFan @junior18 @biasedsportsfan The kids who are left we the "jock only degree" chose that degree and don't give me that BS about they force you into a degree. My starting QB was a biomedical engineer at a top 25 program. Theres an O-linemen for Penn State that has graduated twice in math in four years. No I wouldn't be pissed if they used my number. No school actually makes money if you look up the numbers all the money they makes goes to pay expenses. 

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

@junior18 @MidwestGolfFan @biasedsportsfan 

I notice you didn't answer the core question.  

If a company you worked for claimed the right to use your name and likeness to make money for themselves, in perpetuity, I doubt you'd like it.

You're OK with college coaches making millions a year, schools raking in hundreds of millions, while the students get free room and board.  Oh, and books...for classes many of them hardly attend.

Only a few dozen athletes actually have pro careers.  The rest are left with an "education" in jock-only "degree" programs  like "Leisure Studies," which is very useful in a competitive labor market, I'm sure.