NCAA won't renew EA Sports contract

[UPDATE] Athletics organization decides not to renew licensing contract, EA confirms it will continue to make college football games; first title now in development for next-gen.

[UPDATE 2] EA Sports executive vice president Andrew Wilson has released a statement on the matter, saying the company will continue to develop college football games, but without NCAA names and marks. In addition, Wilson confirmed an all-new college football title is in development for next-generation consoles. His full statement is below.

"By now, most fans will have heard that EA's licensing agreement with the NCAA is set to expire and that we have agreed to part ways. I'm sure gamers are wondering what this means."

"This is simple: EA Sports 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."

"We took big creative strides with this year's college game and you’ll see much more in the future. We love college football and look forward to making more games for our fans."

[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, ESPN college football insider Brett McMurphy claimed on Twitter that EA Sports will continue to have a college football game after 2014, but it won't be associated with the NCAA.

"EA Sports will still have college football video game beyond 2014, just won't be affiliated w/NCAA," he wrote.

The original story is below.

The NCAA today announced that it will not renew its contract with EA Sports, making the recently released NCAA Football 14 the final game in the series to feature the NCAA's name and logo.

The previous contract was set to expire June 2014.

"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 group said in a statement.

The "costs of litigation" line is likely referring to a lawsuit from former UCLA player Ed O'Bannon, who--along with other former players--is suing the NCAA, EA Sports, and the Collegiate Licensing Company over the use of their likenesses.

The NCAA's statement points out that EA Sports could negotiate deals with individual schools, conferences, and bowl committees to keep school names in future games, though the status of NCAA titles is now in question.

An EA representative was not immediately available to comment.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

171 comments
Hurvl
Hurvl

Business as usual, then? I'd wager the changes coming out of this will be as small as the changes between each game.

Godsire-
Godsire-

It's ABOUT TIME! For one, I have always thought it was a sham that EA gets away with putting these kids into games and then make millions off of them, when they get nothing in return. Sure, they aren't using the actual names. But having the ability to change the names of the players, is essentially the same thing.

Also, I hope another company steps up and does this the RIGHT way and we are finished with lazy EA not having a competitor in the market. The NCAA & Madden titles USED to be great. Now they are the same game every year with a minor upgrades and a roster update.

Maybe we will FINALLY get another NFL 2K title. I have been playing Madden since the beginning (I am 37) and the series has been going downhill for many years. Ever since they bought the NFL license, this has been a problem.

ZoTrAcK
ZoTrAcK

when the nfl will do the same, the end for ea will be near...

ZoTrAcK
ZoTrAcK

very simple indeed, theres only over a 100 teams names, stadiums, songs and mascots that you have to invent now,..

tmorri603
tmorri603

Now 2K can get a crack at making a NCAA football game. I also hope that the NFL contract will run out so we can get 2K can get back to making pro football games again.

AMG
AMG

This changes nothing. EA will still continue to pump out college football games every year.

Rusmurf
Rusmurf

Its all about the ligitation, they are very afraid they will lose the case for use of player names and likenesses. There are alot of players that never signed over personal rights to EA and the NCAA forever.

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

They can name their new game "Felons to be" college football.

northArrow
northArrow

"and all the innovation fans expect from EA Sports"

So absolutely nothing then? Gotcha

Triton
Triton

Nice to hear some good news for a change.

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

Licenses are a waste of money. Include a deep editor and a PC version. Mods will take care of everything from there.

I'm talking to you 2K. In addition to American Football, you made a decent hockey game as well.

wrestlingdude
wrestlingdude

Ok 2K, time to step up and grab the license, EA sucks at catching the true innovation of a College football game.  I can barely stand Madden, but I'd rather have a NFL 2K game, whenever EA stops "money humping" the hell out of the NFL license. 

jairodoi
jairodoi

haha about damn time.NFL come on

spectreSE7EN
spectreSE7EN

If only the NFL would wake up and do the same thing. Hasn't been a good nfl game since 2k5. I mean in terms of EA no longer having exclusivity.

Angelsoft717
Angelsoft717

So basically a worse version of backbreaker with fake college names? Unless they decide to sum out money specifically for certain schools(which means the rosters are going to be limited). I don't think they're going to make it too well

jeremyc99999
jeremyc99999

"This is simple: EA Sports 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."  

Not sure where you guys are seeing that college football games are dead. The NCAA and the Collegiate Licensing Company are two different things, and everything will be the same except you will no longer see the word NCAA anywhere in the game. Nor will 2K be taking over, unfortunately.

BamaGoatt
BamaGoatt

Some of you have reading issues this basically says the ncaa will no longer endorse games due to lawsuits. So yes 2k can make a college football game but it will be expensive to sign all the teams individually like this. It look like college football is going to be dead in video games soon. 

oflow
oflow

Not really understanding how they will continue to make college football games without using ncaa names or logos...

Oozyrat
Oozyrat

Lol everyone thinks this is the end of EA and MS etc, but I don't think anyone realizes just how rich these gaming companies really are. None of the names we've grown up with are going anywhere. Unfortunately even if we don't buy their games, and even if companies seek other publishers, they'll always feed off the growing number of casuals that have taken gaming from the hardcore audience. For now, we're going to have to support Indie developers that make the challenging, fun, and hardcore games we've always loved.

TrueGB
TrueGB

Yay, I guess.

_
Stay classy, my friends.

SnakeEyesX80
SnakeEyesX80

[UPDATE] Athletics organization decides not to renew licensing contract, EA confirms it will continue to make Madden Lite

Fixed

Kalbent
Kalbent

thank god! comeon visual concepts! lets see another 2k football game at long last!

the_hunger
the_hunger

There needs to be multiple companies making these kinds of games for big franchises like NCAA. I don't mind EA making these games, but they should not solely control the license.  Such a monopoly stifles innovation and results in lazy game development, as EA has shown.

Next, the NFL license needs some new blood beyond Madden.

soulless4now
soulless4now

Still waiting for a detailed article about how EA sold their souls to Hades and why they'll rot long after their demise. Guess that's for another time and another place. 

tommynj
tommynj

See what a bad reputation gets you ? Such a shame because EA can be doing great things for their customers but instead they enjoy doing it the wrong way.

athrun07
athrun07

"We love college football and look forward to making more games for our fans."

really? bitch please!

rtircoklled
rtircoklled

"I love EA, we need more games from them so they can continue to re-imagine and innovate the industry"

                                                                                                                                 -No one ever

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

If someone other than an EA rep can tell me EXACTLY what this will mean, it would be helpful.

dem5000
dem5000

Now if we can abolish the NCAA, then we'd be getting somewhere!  They only exist to try to pretend that college football and basketball aren't minor league sports and that athletes shouldn't be paid for putting in 50+ hours per week to play said sport.  If it was all about the education, colleges wouldn't be paying coaches 5 million dollars a year.  Probably irrelevant to this article though!

ftwhog
ftwhog

@jeremyc99999 the innovation? ya we expect it but EA never gives us anything but the same old

BamaGoatt
BamaGoatt

@oflow the state Ohio university instead of osu you get sou nickname the eyebucks I will not be playing it.

C-P-30
C-P-30

@rtircoklled i know that guy No One Ever he is the brother of Nobody(aka Ulysses).

RabidSchnauzer
RabidSchnauzer

@dem5000 College athletes get paid full scholarships to go to school, competitively play a sport they love, and get an opportunity to market themselves for the pros.  Sounds like getting paid to me.  Greed is ruining everything in this country. 

jeremyc99999
jeremyc99999

@BamaGoatt @jeremyc99999 The Collegiate Licensing Company handles the trademarks of the teams and their nicknames, so all the teams will still be exactly the same.


Senor_Kami
Senor_Kami

@RabidSchnauzer @dem5000 Nah.  Colleges make millions of dollars off of these guys.  Some schools are propped up primarily by the sports program, yet the actual athletes don't get shit in return other than free rent in a crappy dorm room.  It's a terrible deal.  The only reason it's accepted is due to nationwide collusion to make sure colleges never have to pay these people a dime, unlike pro sports where if a team wants a player, they have to cough up some dough.

BamaGoatt
BamaGoatt

@jeremyc99999 @BamaGoatt that is just the use of stuff like helmet stickers mascots and uniforms that isn't the names. The names are licensed through the ncaa.