This afternoon the NCAA dropped a bombshell when it announced that it would not be renewing its licensing deal with EA Sports, creator of the NCAA Football game franchise.
Many expected that to be the final blow to the gut of college sport video games. However, that isn’t to be the case….yet.
Mere hours after the NCAA’s announcement, EA Sports released a statement of their own, confirming that the college football franchise will continue on past this season, and into the next generation of consoles.
Executive vice president of EA Sports, Andrew Wilson:
“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.”
The companies license with the CLC was set to expire in 2014, but the above statement makes one think that an extension has been agreed to by both parties.
Despite the news that the series will continue on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, the future of the series beyond “College Football 15″ is still very much in doubt.
The company is dealing with a massive player likeness lawsuit that is slowly working its way through the court system. The decision to end the partnership between the NCAA and EA Sports could be a sign of guilt from one, or both, of the parties.
The company is venturing into territory that hasn’t been walked in since the early days of gaming when licenses were tough to come by. It’s a risky business decision that may cost EA millions of dollars because of it being a stand alone college football title. Then again, it may be one that turns out to be better for them in the end.