[NBA JAM by EA SPORTS]Real Players Might Now Be Included In EA Sports’ Return To College Football Video Games

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  Yesterday, the NCAA surprisingly approved the ability for student-athletes to earn compensation off of their name, image, and likeness. This comes after the Supreme Court ruled last week, 9-0, in a compensation case; and it comes before legislation in several states was set to become law, allowing student-athletes the right to earn. Basically, the door is opening up widely and rapidly when it comes to college athletes securing rights to the free market.

  Many athletes are already taking advantage, making themselves available for marketing deals and starting their own trademarked brands. We might also see college athletes collectively bargain on bigger deals—including, potentially on the upcoming return of college football video games.

  After yesterday’s news, EA Sports released a statement on the matter:

  We are watching the recent developments regarding student-athlete name, image and likeness very closely. It’s still very early stages at this point, and we plant to explore the possibility of including players in EA SPORTS College Football. For now, our development team is focused on working with our partners at CLC to ensure the game authentically showcases the great sport of college football and the more than 100 institutions signed on to be featured on our game.

  As was written about last week, it’s looking like real player name and likeness has a good shot of being used in the reboot of the NCAA Football series. This means instead of seeing things like QB #8 or generic CPU-generated names like “John Smith” in the game, we might be getting the real names of the players on the rosters from the Alabama Crimson Tide to the Wyoming Cowboys (pending individual schools agreeing to be included in the game, as EA indicated they are working on in their statement).

  The EA Sports College Football return is not expected to happen until at least 2023, so there should be plenty of time to come to an agreement with all the schools and hopefully all of the players in college football.

  One thing to keep in mind is that some star players might opt not to collectively bargain and to instead hold out for a big payday to be in the game. As a comparison, Michael Jordan was not in NBA Jam and Barry Bonds was not in MVP Baseball. But the vast majority of student-athletes would probably be thrilled to have themselves in the game along with the compensation that can now come with it—and the college youngsters probably won’t have as much power as two of the most accomplished athletes in history did.

  Either way, EA will likely make the rosters similar to the real-life rosters for the teams around the nation. Development wise, EA says that it’s still “very early”, and we’d think implementing player names along with the likeness should be simple.

  EA Sports College Football is expected to be released in the spring or summer of 2023.

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