The lights are on
The NCAA is living on borrowed time. The association overseeing college athletics is in the legal wringer for its long-held rule of not letting college athletes receive compensation. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, this turmoil is having an effect on the video game world. The NCAA has severed its licensing deal with EA Sports, which will put out a college football game using a new three-year agreement with the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) for over 150 schools, conferences, and bowl games. Regardless, the end of college football video games may come sooner than we think.
Apart from its agreement with the CLC, the licensing backbone of EA Sports' next college football game will be cobbled together from individual deals with schools, bowls, and conferences. This is already a big problem for the title since the SEC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 conferences have said that they will not participate. Individual teams (including those within those conferences) can still sign with EA, but not only is the franchise starting from a weakened position without being able to use something as strong as the SEC conference, for instance, but EA is going to be paying money hand over fist to get each school, bowl, etc. outside of the CLC that it wants in the game. And you can bet there will be some big-name schools left off.
No matter how zealous football fans get on Saturday, this is a bottom line business – and the NCAA franchise comes well after big dogs like FIFA and Madden. Thus, I believe an accountant somewhere in EA has a piece of paper with a dollar amount on it, and strict instructions to not let the licensing fees go over that amount. If it does, I think that the company will walk away from college football and not look back. And rightfully so.
I don't fault EA for this, and it will be a shame for all the developers at EA Tiburon. It takes so much time and effort to put out games to the level of quality that the series has been known for, and seldom does a company of EA's size throw copious amounts of good money after bad. Today's sports video game market virtually requires official licenses as part of selling the aura, and the vast majority of fans wouldn't want it any other way. The company has already made a similar decision on college basketball, and it closed down the MVP baseball brand after two years of college baseball after it lost the MLB license.
There's something to be said for sticking to your guns, but there's also value in not diluting your product to the point of ridiculousness. Putting out a game with incomplete rivalries, a fractured bowl season, and the inability to replicate the likenesses of existing players doesn't sound like the kind of college football game I want to play.
Video game football started without official teams and likenesses, and in the case of EA Sports' college football, it's heading back that way. We weren't enamored with the idea back then, and we certainly aren't going to put up with it now.
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I agree, sadly. I loved the NCAA games as a kid. I loved to feel like I was the Head Coach of OSU making the team the Best Damn Team in the Land. Hell, I'd even get a kick out of making terrible teams like Florida Atlantic powerhouses. It'll be sad to see that magic go.
I personally would play a football video game without the use of licensed teams if it resulted in a quality and authentic football game. All Pro Football 2k8 was an example of a game that had no licensed teams but had very very solid mechanics and gameplay when it came to the actual game and the sport of football. sadly it also lacked in a career/franchise mode with any depth and sunk that series. To me people need to focus more on the quality of the game rather than the licenses but i know how most gamers and sports fans are and they won't play a sports game without their favorite team on it. To me that's some spoiled, crybaby *** and im gonna be extremely sad to see my favorite football video game go down the tube. RIP NCAA Football!
Though I'm not a fan of the yearly releases, I love coaching the Buckeyes to the championship every time a new NCAA game comes out.
What's the rule in the CFL on players coming right out of High School?
It sucks that the only players that bitched about it were the ones that couldn't cut it after college.
This could be a good thing for football video games in general. Not having a license allows for more freedom in design. The NFL has restrictions on Madden for certain levels of detail, like total field degradation or uniform degradation, hard hits, ect. I'm sure the NCAA did the same thing. With the ability to add a logo editor and uniform editor maybe even a more complete stadium editor the community could in theory create every school from D1 all the way to the scrub D3 schools. The possibilities are endless. Its unfortunate that so many people require the NCAA or NFL label's to even look at the games. Imagine the game that could have been produce if the money used to buy these licenses actually went into making the game instead of cutting and pasting year after year
One of things I liked about NCAA Football (besides actually playing the game) was that I learned who the best players were. Often times I'd tell my friends before the NFL draft about a particular player and some of my knowledge was based off of NCAA Football Games... no longer will this be the case. Personally I will not buy a game that is not complete. I know it's not EA's fault, but I want a genuine product.
I'm okay with this, while I do like NCAA games each year there is no need for EA to pay these teams money to use their teams. Move on, and put the effort into Madden next-gen!
This kinda bums me out because I usually prefer the NCAA football games over Madden. However, if EA is going to have to pay for each individual team then it's for the best that they let it die. It won't really be the same experience if a bunch of the big schools are missing anyway.
I mostly play FIFA and I've played a lot of Madden. But i just couldn't get into this game.
Sure seems like it, and even for Madden. There's only so much innovation they can bring, and they've already done most of it... The games are still fun and fresh, but they grow stale quicker nowadays it seems...
Maybe they can still use the game engine and make some kind of football spin-off. Not an arcadey Blitz game but some kind of variation