EA Sports has announced that it is bringing back its college football video game NCAA Football for the first time since 2013.
Daryl Holt, EA Sports vice president and general manager, announced to ESPN that the company will be bringing back much-anticipated game, though it will not be back in 2021, but sometime in the future.
Although the game has been very popular, it is not without its controversy. Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame University vice president and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics, said in a press release that the university is not signing on to let EA Sports use its information until details have been worked out regarding whether the college football players featured will receive payment.
“Notre Dame Athletics welcomes the return of EA Sports College Football, a video game series that has historically helped promote interest in college football,” Swarbrick and Rohr said in the press release. “Notre Dame will not, however, participate in the game until such time as rules have been finalized governing the participation of our student-athletes. As those rules are developed, it is our strong desire that student-athletes be allowed to benefit directly from allowing their name, image and performance history to be used in the game.”
Preston Rice, senior architecture major, said he played and enjoyed the game back in 2013, but added that Notre Dame makes a good point when it says the real players involved should be compensated for being featured in the EA game.
“The teams should be paid for it,” Rice said. “They’re putting out sponsors, they are representing their school, they’re playing for their school, and some people can’t pay for college. … (They are) putting in the work, so if you were to represent that and getting money from it, it would be a good sponsorship and promote the players better.”
In the middle of a pandemic, EA Sports will be bringing its game back to possibly a bigger audience. More people staying inside as a result of the pandemic has caused a spike in esports and online gaming.
Allison Weaver, junior English major, is an intern for the Riverside County Office of Education in the Educational Technology Department, where she hosts esports competitions for schools in the county.
“We found that through this season of COVID-19, there has been such a hype, like a spike, in students gaming, so I think that’s why a lot of students are turning to esports,” Weaver said.
A release date for the new NCAA Football has not been announced yet, but students should watch for the announcement as they continue to work on it.