NCAA Football Video Game Franchise Could Return Thanks to New Player Pay Ruling

A major new ruling could result in the return of EA's beloved NCAA Football franchise.

NCAA Football EA

A landmark ruling by the NCAA could lead to the return of one of the most popular sports video game franchises ever created, EA’s NCAA Football series. 

While this is a very complicated ruling that is still being examined in regards to its full impact, the long and short of it is that the NCAA has finally agreed that college athletes should be allowed to profit from their names and images “in a manner consistent with the collegiate model.”

It’s that last bit of the ruling that leaves quite a bit of room for debate regarding how this new policy will be enforced/utilized. For now, we want to focus on what this could mean for the NCAA Football video game franchise.

For those who don’t know, EA used to release new entries in its NCAA Football series every year just as they do with the Madden franchise. That was until 2013 when a series of lawsuit settlements related to profiting off the likenesses of college athletes pretty much ended EA’s NCAA Football franchise on the spot. That came as a significant disappointment to millions of gamers who regularly praised the NCAA Football games for their creative modes, brilliant mechanics, and how they generally utilized the atmosphere and trappings of college football. Some fans even considered the NCAA titles to be better than the Madden games. 

Ad – content continues below

Now, it would seem that this new ruling opens the door for the NCAA Football franchise to return. Again, that is not a guarantee as this new ruling is still open to some interpretation, but it’s certainly worth noting that EA CEO Andrew Wilson recently stated that EA “would jump for the opportunity” to develop more NCAA Football games. The timing of that statement hardly feels coincidental. 

While EA making NCAA Football games again is a fascinating idea, it should also be said that it doesn’t seem that EA retains any exclusive rights to make college football games. As such, it’s possible that we could see multiple competing college football games hit the market as early as 2020 or 2021. 

Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014