According to multiple sources the SEC, Big Ten and Pac-12 will not renew their contracts with Electronic Arts (EA) regarding licensing, though individual universities may agree to license agreements with EA. This comes only weeks after the NCAA made its announcement that they were parting ways with EA. Not all is lost for EA at the moment, but it is delaying the inevitable.
EA recently signed a three-year agreement with the Collegiate Licensing Company for approximately 150 schools the company represents, including some SEC schools. This list of schools has not yet been made public. That’s somewhat of a victory for EA — a very small one. Not having these three superconferences backing up EA only causes more concern about the future of the NCAA… excuse me, College Football series.
Many believe that this is the beginning of the end for licensed college football video games. One funny idea is to have coaches on the covers like Bill Walsh and John Madden were during the early days of sports titles. All jokes aside, this is not good. Many conferences will follow suit and soon you will have a NCAA-less, BCS-less, conference-less, and eventually team-less video game. Nobody wants to buy a video game that is suppose to give you the college football experience without any of the core foundations that are related to the authentic product. ESPN will be gone. Pontiac will be gone. Kiss all the major sponsors goodbye. By 2016 this game will be shelved. It’s a shame.
Will this deter you from buying future installments of this series? I know for me it will. The game will be the same but the magic is gone. Speaking for myself, about 70% to 75% of the reason I buy the game is because you get everything the NCAA and ESPN has to offer regarding college football. I need my Herbstreit fix, don’t take that away from me!!!!
Of course all of this is product of the recent lawsuits with NCAA regarding player likeness and royalties. All seems lost for fans of this series in the years to come. Though the game will still be released it will begin to feel like a shell of what it use to be. The total experience is gone. Maybe in the future if all the lawsuits die down and rules change we can get back to having an authentic game. I wouldn’t hold my breath because the NCAA won’t budge. They will just nip it in the bud and everyone loses. So thanks to certain individuals that felt they are entitled to some money, we as fans and gamers suffer the consequences.
SEC, Big Ten and Pac-12 Bail on EA: Video commentary brought to you by Scott Swingle and TheSwingleNetwork