Eligible FBS college football players will be afforded the opportunity to be featured in the new “EA Sports College Football” video game expected to debut in 2024, the gaming company confirmed to ESPN. While it was always hoped that virtual versions of actual players would be part of the relaunched product amid the advent of name, image and likeness rights for college athletes, there were hurdles to clear.
In particular, the game’s creators needed a way to organize a substantial group licensing effort, and a group named OneTeam Partners has been tabbed to lead that effort, EA also confirmed. Players, however, will be required to opt in for their name, image and likeness to be used.
How much athletes will be paid for the use of their name, image and likeness in the game has not been determined, but an EA representative told ESPN that the company plans to be “as inclusive and equitable as possible.”
EA’s last college football video game was created in 2013 with a letter from the company explaining months after its release that it would be discontinuing the product. The decision came after a court ruling required EA Sports to pay class-action compensation to previous athletes who were not compensated for being in the game. But amid the advent of NIL rights for student-athletes, EA announced in February 2021 that the game would return.
It is expected that game modes including “Dynasty” and “Road to Glory” will be part of the new game when it hits the market next summer. When the game is released, it will have been 11 years since the release of the last version known as “NCAA 14.”