Earlier this year, EA stunned the world by announcing the return of its college football video game series. Development is underway on the project and presumably very early on as there are still a ton of details to work out, especially as it pertains to obtaining school licenses and player likeness, etc. But from a fan perspective, there’s really only one major thing we want to know: when will we be able to play the next EA Sports College Football game?
Well, we may have an answer! A document obtained by Extra Points publisher Matt Brown appears to suggest a targeted release date of July 2023 for the first EA SPORTS College Football game.
The possible date stems from a copy of the EA Sports/CLC proposal to FBS schools, dated January 15, with a few redactions in place. The proposal outlines a proposed royalty rate EA would pay each school for its license.
While there would be an aggregate guarantee for the game as a whole, each school’s individual portion guarantee would be determined by a tiering structure. Institutions would be placed into a tier based on each school’s football performance over a rolling ten-year period. Not only would the revenue in each tier vary year-to-year, but it would be possible for schools to change tiers year-to-year based on performance. We can see from the document the proposed plan includes four tiers, but the percentage paid for each tier is redacted.
But perhaps the most important takeaway is that the term of the agreement runs for four years, spanning July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2027 and covering four football video game titles: ’24, ’25, ’26 and ’27.
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When EA announced the return of its college football game, the company promised it would include the rights to more than 100 institutions featuring the logos, stadiums, uniforms, gameday traditions and more elements of college football that fans love. But because laws surrounding player name, image and likeness for amateur sports are still being discussed and debated, the game will not include any student-athlete names images and likenesses.
What this also means is that some schools are refusing to have their school represented in the game until something gets passed or agreed upon that allows student athletes to get paid. Notre Dame is one of the high profile schools that will not participate in the game until rules regarding student athletes to benefit from their name, image and performance history are finalized.
If the proposal is agreed upon, it’s likely we could see EA’s NCAA Football game return in Summer 2023.