EA Responds to NCAAs Retreat From Video Game Franchise

NCAA2k14Feature

NCAA has announced today that it will not be renewing their contract for the license to their logo and name with EA when it ends in June 2014.  While the current contract between the collegiate sports organization and Electronic Arts runs through to June 2014, the early announcement coincides with their notification to the games publisher of their intentions for future planning of video game titles.

ncaa14x360pft_frontAs it stands right now, EA’s NCAA Football 2014 will be the last game of the franchise that will include the NCAA name and logo.  The NCAA has stated that, “given the current costs of litigation and the current business climate” they have determined that NCAA’s participation in the franchise is not in their best interests.  The litigation that they are likely referring to are the ongoing court battles involving the Collegiate Licensing Company and Electronics Arts, who are co-defendants in a number of lawsuits regarding the use of players likenesses and names.

According to the presser released by the NCAA, “The NCAA has never licensed the use of current student-athlete names, images or likenesses to EA. The NCAA has no involvement in licenses between EA and former student-athletes. Member colleges and universities license their own trademarks and other intellectual property for the video game. They will have to independently decide whether to continue those business arrangements in the future.”

Andrew Wilson, Executive Vice President, EA Sports, had this to say in a recent posting:

By now, most fans will have heard that EA’s licensing agreement with the NCAA is set to expire and that we have agreed to part ways.  I’m sure gamers are wondering what this means.

This is simple:  EA SPORTS will continue to develop and publish college football games, but we will no longer include the NCAA names and marks.  Our relationship with the Collegiate Licensing Company is strong and we are already working on a new game for next generation consoles which will launch next year and feature the college teams, conferences and all the innovation fans expect from EA SPORTS.

We took big creative strides with this year’s college game and you’ll see much more in the future.  We love college football and look forward to making more games for our fans.

With the NCAA name and logo without a home, one has to wonder if we might be seeing the announcement of a new 2K Sports title in the near future.

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July 18, 2013 - 5:33 pm

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