NCAA, EA Sports part ways, end video game series

De'Anthony Thomas working out

Kevin Cline

De’Anthony Thomas working out

If you already own the newest edition of NCAA Football 14, you might want to hang on to it, as it seems it could be a very valuable piece of history down the road.

The NCAA announced last week they will not renew their contract with video game developer EA Sports, thus ending the NCAA Football series for good. This makes NCAA 14 the last of its kind, and the last college football game we’ll see for a long time.

From their official statement, this action is most likely coming from the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit in which players where actively suing the NCAA over the use of players’ names, images and likenesses. The argument made by O’Bannon is that upon graduating, “a former student athlete should become entitled to financial compensation for any future commercial uses of his or her image made by the NCAA”.

By ending the relationship with EA, the NCAA has taken another step to stepping further away from the lawsuit.

However there is some good news, plans for another college football title from plenty of other developers are still in motion, they just won’t carry the NCAA name due to high demand for the genre. The next edition will likely be called “College Football 15”.

Here’s the official statement from the NCAA:

“The NCAA has made the decision not to enter a new contract for the license of its name and logo for the EA Sports NCAA Football video game. The current contract expires in June 2014, but our timing is based on the need to provide EA notice for future planning. As a result, the NCAA Football 2014 video game will be the last to include the NCAA’s name and logo. 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 NCAA has never licensed the use of current student-athlete names, images or likenesses to EA. The NCAA has no involvement in licenses between EA and former student-athletes. Member colleges and universities license their own trademarks and other intellectual property for the video game. They will have to independently decide whether to continue those business arrangements in the future.”

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