EA Sports revives its college football video game — but it won’t include real student-athletes
Video game developer Electronic Arts is bringing back its beloved college football game with a catch: it won’t include the likeness of any real-life college players.
The new game, EA Sports College Football, will be the company’s first college football title since it discontinued the NCAA Football franchise in 2013. That year, college players filed a class-action lawsuit against EA for using their likeness without compensation.
The company is working with college trademarking company CLC to include over 100 universities, allowing the game to use uniforms, mascots, stadiums and fight songs.
“We’ve heard from the millions of passionate fans requesting the return of college football video games,” Cam Weber, the company’s executive vice president, said in a statement Tuesday. “We love the energy, tradition and pageantry of college football and I am beyond thrilled to say we are back in development.”
For those who never stopped believing… #EASPORTSCollegeFootball pic.twitter.com/ojDl9LzXuj
However, EA Sports said the new game would not include names, images, or likeness of any student-athletes.
In 2013, a group of college athletes sued the NCAA and EA Sports for using their likenesses in EA’s NCAA Football video games. Three years later, they settled with the group for $60 million.
The Supreme Court is expected to hear a separate dispute between the NCAA and student-athletes this spring. A decision is expected by the end of June. EA Sports said it would be monitoring the developments.
The NCAA has long held that student-athletes, as amateurs, must not be paid to play but allows schools to reimburse collegiate athletes for academic and athletic expenses.
Melissa Quinn contributed reporting.
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