After almost a decade, college football fans will finally get to play with their favorite schools in a video game, all thanks to a new effort from EA Sports.
The game developer announced on February 2, 2021 that it would be rebooting their college football franchise, ending what will be more than an eight-year wait since “NCAA Football 14” was released in 2013.
The demand for the game has been high in the years since EA Sports stopped the series, which the company said “was a consistent top-five sports title in North America during its previous run, generating tens of millions unit sales from 2005-2014.”
“We’ve heard from the millions of passionate fans requesting the return of college football video games,” EA Sports Executive Vice President and General Manager Cam Weber said in a press release. “We love the energy, tradition and pageantry of college football and I am beyond thrilled to say we are back in development. We have a lot of really exciting work ahead of us, and a great team that is eager to bring a new game to players in the next couple of years.”
While the game itself won’t be making its return in 2021, plenty of details were announced as fans celebrated the news in February.
For starters, EA Sports will be working with CLC, the “nation’s leading collegiate trademark licensing company,” to include more than 100 colleges and universities in the game, which will feature each school’s logos, stadiums, uniforms, and gameday traditions.
“We’re very excited to collaborate with EA Sports to bring back the college football franchise, one of the most popular collegiate licensed products in our history,” CLC CEO Cory Moss said in a press release. “The college football video game connects passionate fans to college brands and introduces new fans to the storied traditions, excitement, and game day experience that make college football unique.”
However, no student-athlete names, images or likenesses will be included in the franchise’s first game back. At the same time, the game will drop “NCAA” from the title, instead going by “EA Sports College Football” as it heads to next-gen consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
“EA Sports College Football gives us a name and a brand to kind of work around for some things that might evolve as well as what we’re focusing on really out of the gate, which is really the FBS Division I schools and the road to the College Football Playoff and College Football Championship,” EA Sports vice president and general manager Daryl Holt told ESPN. “So EA Sports College Football we just felt is the right name for the product for not only now but also as we move forward.”
There isn’t an expected release date for the game quite yet, though it likely won’t come out anytime before the summer of 2022.
But, fans can take solace in the fact that “College Football is coming back.“