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Details Emerging From EA Sports’ Plan for NCAA Football Game, per Report

EA Sports has made additional strides in its process to bring back the highly awaited college football video game.

In June, the company announced that the game’s expected release date was July 2023. In keeping close to the deadline, the company’s game designers are finalizing the cumbersome process of gathering photo, video and audio components from more than 130 FBS schools to aid in the creation of the game, according to 247Sports. In addition, ESPN is in the middle of recording game commentary, two EA officials told 247Sports.

The game is also reportedly expected to include “robust and team-specific” playbooks, throwback uniforms and helmets and the return of game modes such as “Dynasty” and “Road to Glory.”

However, as the designers continue navigating the gathering of assets, a big challenge for the popular game company will be getting the name, image and likeness of college football players on the various teams and compensating the players. The lack of pay from the company using players’ likeness led to the 2013 class-action lawsuit that stopped the production of the NCAA Football series.

While the NCAA is no longer in charge of student-athlete compensation, college sports does not have a players’ association organization to aid in packaging rights for video game developers like organizations such as the NFL or MLB. However, Opendorse, a NIL company that started in 2012, has partnered with an organization that focuses on building up its position in the NIL market to become EA Sports’ primary provider of group rights, per 247Sports.

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OneTeam, another licensing group, has previously worked with EA Sports regarding professional sports. However, the company recently started group-licensing opportunities for college athletes to earn money on their jersey and T-Shirt sales as well as trading cards.

As EA Sports attempts to put a huge emphasis on ensuring that the new game includes real players and emphasizing the grandeur and spectacle of college football traditions, the company must secure the right partner for group rights. However, it is not clear if the company will collaborate with an outside party to secure group licensing. 

Per 247Sports, the payouts for players are not expected to be grand in number with most deals in the “four-figure” ballpark. Currently, EA Sports is continuing to observe the expansion and progression of NIL and whether Congress creates additional legislation. In June, it was previously reported that the game developer planned to have a partnership finalized with a NIL group this summer. 

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