EA Sports will not continue to produce its
NCAA Footballfranchise beyond this year, the company announced today.
In a statement, EA cited ongoing legal disputes with ex-athletes as the reason for the cancellation.
While the game officially doesn’t use real players, the “fake” players in the game had the same numbers, skin colour, and skills as their real-life counterparts.
For that reason, EA has found itself in the middle of a likeness lawsuit that a number of former athletes are bringing against the NCAA.
The NCAA and some major conferences had already cancelled their deals with EA before today’s decision.
The full statement:
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 Meanwhile, the NCAA and a number of conferences have withdrawn their support of our game.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 labour 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 organisation.
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.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.