The NCAA Ends Its Video Game Contract With EA Sports, Blames Costs Of Potentially Catastrophic Lawsuit

ncaa football 14 gameplay

The NCAA has ended its contract with EA Sports, and the video game NCAA Football 14 will be the last game to use the organisation’s name and logo.

The NCAA is currently being sued by a group of former players led by Ed O’Bannon. One of the group’s primary claims is that the organisation used former players’ likenesses in video games like NCAA Football without compensating them.

Some think the lawsuit could bankrupt and end the NCAA as we know it if O’Bannon wins.

In a statement, the NCAA cited “costs of litigation” as a primary factor in the decision.

This doesn’t mean the beloved NCAA Football video game franchise is dead. As the NCAA points out, individual schools and leagues licence their own logos and names to the game, and they are still free to do so.

Here’s the full press release from the NCAA:

The NCAA has made the decision not to enter a new contract for the licence of its name and logo for the EA Sports NCAA Football video game. The current contract expires in June 2014, but our timing is based on the need to provide EA notice for future planning. As a result, the NCAA Football 2014 video game will be the last to include the NCAA’s name and logo. We are confident in our legal position regarding the use of our trademarks in video games. But given the current business climate and costs of litigation, we determined participating in this game is not in the best interests of the NCAA.

The NCAA has never licensed the use of current student-athlete names, images or likenesses to EA. The NCAA has no involvement in licenses between EA and former student-athletes. Member colleges and universities licence their own trademarks and other intellectual property for the video game. They will have to independently decide whether to continue those business arrangements in the future.

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