Electronic Arts won’t be releasing a 2014 edition college football game, and will be “evaluationg” future plans for their college football franchise, the company announced today.
“Today I am sad to announce that we will not be publishing a new college football game next year, and we are evaluating our plan for the future of the franchise,” EA Sports general manager of American Football Cam Weber wrote in a post on The Beat, EA’s official blog. “This is as profoundly disappointing to the people who make this game as I expect it will be for the millions who enjoy playing it each year. I’d like to explain a couple of the factors that brought us to this decision.
“We have been stuck in the middle of a dispute between the NCAA and student-athletes who seek compensation for playing college football. Just like companies that broadcast college games and those that provide equipment and apparel, we follow rules that are set by the NCAA—but those rules are being challenged by some student-athletes. For our part, we are working to settle the lawsuits with the student-athletes. Meanwhile, the NCAA and a number of conferences have withdrawn their support of our game. The ongoing legal issues combined with increased questions surrounding schools and conferences have left us in a difficult position—one that challenges our ability to deliver an authentic sports experience, which is the very foundation of EA SPORTS games.”
In July, then-EA executive vice president and current EA CEO Andrew Wilson confirmed that despite severing their contract with the NCAA, Electronic Arts would be working with the Collegiate Licensing Company to continue making college football games. The most recent release, NCAA Football 14, was met with lukewarm responses. In his review, Ray said that “a couple of tacked-on modes and some better mechanics from the borrowed Madden engine can’t overcome the basic logic flaws and imbalances that seem to be annual staples” in the franchise.