Earlier this year, EA Sports announced it was bringing back its college football video game franchise, with a few key changes. The first was it would be titled EA Sports College Football, not NCAA Football as it previously had been, because licensing for the game would be through CLC rather than the NCAA. The reason for that was they, at least until national name, image, and likeness rules are figured out, would be making the game with just the schools and random rosters that didn’t share any actual resemblance to players on teams currently.
It’s a workaround that honestly has been available from the beginning, but with NIL legislation out there and a movement towards making it possible for players to make money off of their NIL rights, they could begin making the game now and swiftly be in position to put players in the game and work out what compensation would be required for that once figured out. The initial announcement said 100-plus colleges would be involved in the game through the CLC licensing, but there is one big one that will not be part of it until they can get their players paid.
Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick released a statement on Monday saying that Notre Dame was excited about the prospects of being in a college football video game again but will not participate until NIL rights are worked out for players to benefit off of the game.
Statement from University VP and AD Jack Swarbrick on EA Sports College Football video game series and continued support of our student-athletes and NIL:
— The Fighting Irish 😷 (@FightingIrish) February 22, 2021
It is what everyone is hoping will happen, which is to see a game produced where players, like those in professional sports, get a cut from rights deals. It’s also good on Notre Dame to apply this kind of pressure to making that happen as they are one of the biggest brands in all of college football, and making it clear they won’t participate until players can get paid is big.
Now, we can simply hope all of this gets squared away in the near future and everything can come together for a new game to be created that benefits the players and brings college football back to game systems.