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.
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