No more college football?
[Update: Electronic Arts’ official response has come from EA Sports executive vice president Andrew Wilson, who writes that the company “will continue to develop and publish college football games, but we will no longer include the NCAA names and marks. Our relationship with the Collegiate Licensing Company is strong and we are already working on a new game for next generation consoles which will launch next year and feature the college teams, leagues and all the innovation fans expect from EA Sports.”]
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has announced today that they will not be entering into a new contract for the license of the NCAA name and logo in future EA Sports NCAA Football titles. The current contract expires in June 2014, and the timing of this announcement was made to “provide EA notice for future planning.” This means that this year’s NCAA will be the last to include the NCAA name and logo.
The NCAA has stated that “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.”
So what’s this mean? Well Electronic Arts can still do a college football game, they just won’t have the official backing of the NCAA. The announcement did mention that the NCAA has no involvement in the licenses with the teams and school featured in the games, as that’s always been a process with EA and the teams. The question is, would the schools want to make those arrangements in the future without the NCAA backing? And would it be worth it for EA to do another one given the constant legal issues that keep popping up?
We’ve reached out to Electronic Arts to see what they have to say on the matter and will update you with any more news as soon as it comes in.