NCAA will not renew EA Sports contract

Submitted by justingoblue on July 17th, 2013 at 2:28 PM
The NCAA has made the decision not to enter a new contract for the license of its name and logo for the EA Sports NCAA Football video game. The current contract expires in June 2014, but our timing is based on the need to provide EA notice for future planning. As a result, the NCAA Football 2014 video game will be the last to include the NCAA’s name and logo. We are confident in our legal position regarding the use of our trademarks in video games. But given the current business climate and costs of litigation, we determined participating in this game is not in the best interests of 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.


Not so surprising, but I'll leave the commentary up to all of you.…



July 17th, 2013 at 3:43 PM ^

Sort of. The NCAA is gone, but the individual institutions still must "decide for themselves" whether to be involved. I suspect there is a strong hint that they might find continued association to be unwise. At any rate, if even a couple of big names decide it's not worth the trouble (let's say, Notre Dame, UCLA, Nebraska, and Georgia) the whole thing collapses. 

Upshot: This may, in a small way, increase the pressure for a breakaway organization of the big-shot football schools to form their own league. 

the Glove

July 17th, 2013 at 4:03 PM ^

Now we will return to the days of 2000 where licensing and rights will start splitting up to different gaming services. EA will have the rights to the Rose Bowl and Heisman. 2k will have the Maxwell and Orange Bowl. College football games didn't have everything in it and they sucked.

Mr. Yost

July 17th, 2013 at 4:07 PM ^

EA Sports College Football 2015 will still be the exact same thing.

It's just the NCAA name and logo, not the sponsors, not the BCS/College Football Playoff, not the bowls, and most importantly not the teams and players.

Come to think of it, how often do you really see the NCAA logo in the game? Outside of the name NCAA Football, I don't think the NCAA has much to do with the game as it is.

Wolverines Dominate

July 17th, 2013 at 4:12 PM ^

I'm fine with this because EA makes the same game every year, just with new paint and a small amount of stupid new features. I know it's tough to NOT make the same game since it's a sports game, but still, many people stopped buying their football games. I used to obsess over buying them annually, but I can tell you I don't miss them. I bought the '13 version, but barely played it. I will buy the '14 version when I can get one for $40 or less, but I'm not in a hurry for it.

Ron Utah

July 17th, 2013 at 4:24 PM ^

The USA boasts a remarkable 94% of the world's lawsuits.  The NCAA performed a simple cost/benefit analysis that told them getting sued was likely to be more costly than the payout from the game.

But who really cares?  If the individual teams keep hooking-up EA with their logos, uniforms, etc, I don't care if the NCAA isn't a part of the title.

Crime Reporter

July 17th, 2013 at 5:10 PM ^

I was going to skip this edition and wait until it was on the next gen consoles but there goes that bright idea. My question to current users is can you at least add Maryland and Rutgers to the conference?


July 17th, 2013 at 7:58 PM ^

Empty threats are empty.  What the NCAA just likely doesn't want is some kind of active contract with EA that O'Bannon can point to.  The NCAA is just posturing and acting like they'll cut off the revenue stream as a way of making it so O'Bannon gets nothing even if he wins.  In reality, there is too much money on the table and if O'Bannon wins, some kind of structure will be worked out where the NCAA (or conferences or some other group of the schools), some players association type of thing, and EA all get a cut of the action.  

Kind of makes sense.  If you think O'Bannon is going to win (at least on some points), no sense in signing something with EA that the courts will just rip up in six months anyway.  Big impact is likely that NCAA '15 will be a quickly updated version of NCAA '15, as EA might freeze development until the whole thing is settled and EA can project its revenes under the new system.  Might mean a buggy product on release day for the next gen consoles.  


July 17th, 2013 at 8:47 PM ^

Exactly who is making the money? College coaches, sure. After that, who? These are all non profit institutions. Most ADs, including ours, are under payed compared to their value in private industry. The only place the university makes money is by getting more donations from Alumni, not from actual revenue. My point being, if you think there is to much money on the table you may be drastically wrong.

To others, lets stop with the exploited stuff, especially at Michigan. Football players benefit as much from that exposure for their future careers, both on and off the field.


July 18th, 2013 at 1:18 AM ^

I have to wonder if this is not the NCAA's way of proving they don't sell athletes likeness. The article on ESPN makes it sound like the next game will be the same just no logo and no NCAA. If that is true, that would make the video game part of the law suit a tough sell.


July 18th, 2013 at 9:20 AM ^

"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, leagues 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."

- Andrew Wilson