GameSpot may receive revenue from affiliate and advertising partnerships for sharing this content and from purchases through links.

EA Is Being Sued Over Its New College Football Game

Licensing of college football players' names, images, and likenesses is once again giving EA grief over its upcoming college football title.


Upcoming sports title EA Sports College Football has seen EA hit with a lawsuit by The Brandr Group, which has deals to negotiate group licensing contracts for 54 NCAA Division I schools. The lawsuit alleges that EA's current opt-in licensing arrangement for players is an attempt to go behind The Brandr Group's back on licensing.

As reported by Front Office Sports, the lawsuit was filed in a federal court in the Northern District of California. Court documents alleged that EA has been in contact with The Brandr Group multiple times throughout 2021 and 2022 about EA Sports College Football, with EA saying it would go through The Brandr Group for licensing deals with athletes at its schools.

Instead, EA is partnering with a company called OneTeam Partners to offer college athletes opt-in name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals, with each player offered a flat payment of around $500 with no royalties. The College Football Players Association has urged players to boycott the proposed deal, calling it "just a ridiculously low amount of money."

The Brandr Group lawsuit has said that it should be able to negotiate a fair deal for the players and schools it represents, and has said that EA's current opt-in model amounts to "tortious interference."

The filing says that EA's deal has placed schools "in the unenviable position of either breaching their contracts with TBG or potentially losing the opportunity for themselves and their athletes to participate in the game."

"EA's tactics will also cause irreparable harm to TBG's Client Athletes, and to every student-athlete who opts-in to their scheme for unfair compensation," it continues. "Because they are being deprived of the opportunity to have their own representative negotiate on their behalves for fair compensation for the use of their NIL."

The Brandr Group is asking for EA to immediately halt its negotiations for all schools with which TBR has contracts. In a statement, TBR re-iterated that the student athletes it represents are its primary concern in this lawsuit: "We believe that student athletes are not receiving fair market value for their NIL rights and that the contractual rights asked for may limit other NIL gaming opportunities."

EA ceased production on its NCAA Football series of video games in 2013 following legal issues around the licensing of player likenesses. EA Sports College Football is the first college football game it's worked on since.

GameSpot has reached out to EA for comment.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 14 comments about this story