EA Sports is bringing back its college football video game series, the company announced on Tuesday.
The company produced the NCAA Football series annually from 1998 to 2014, but production was halted due to disputes over the use of likenesses of amateur collegiate athletes in the game.
— EA SPORTS (@EASPORTS) February 2, 2021
The pause in production also coincided with the company being forced to pay part of a $40 million settlement to former players after a lawsuit filed by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon, though EA Sports has maintained that was not the cause of the game being shelved.
The company has not announced when the new game will be released. ESPN has reported that EA is working with the Collegiate Licensing Company on securing the use of the trademarks of over 100 FBS teams.
The NCAA has passed preliminary legislation that would allow athletes to profit from their names, images and likenesses, but has pushed back decisions about what those changes to amateurism rules will look like.
The game would not need to wait for the new rules to be in place to make the game, which only would require licensing from schools and conferences, but it would require a change in NCAA rules to include player likenesses.