The EA Sports NCAA Football franchise will end with this season’s edition.
Facing ongoing litigation as a result of the Ed O’Bannon class action lawsuit, the NCAA announced Wednesday it would not renew its contract with EA Sports. The contract expires in June 2014.
NCAA Football 2014 will be the last to include the NCAA’s name and logo, the press release indicates. The end of the contract does not necessarily mean the end a college football video game utilizing school names and mascots, however.
“Member colleges and universities license their own trademarks and other intellectual property for the video game,” the NCAA says. “They will have to independently decide whether to continue those business arrangements in the future.”
The NCAA, EA Sports and the Collegiate Licensing Committee are co-defendants in a class action lawsuit stating the NCAA Football video games violate antitrust laws by essentially requiring athletes to release their likeness rights for perpetuity.
The end of the contract means, in theory, the CLC, which represents nearly 200 universities, or schools/conferences individually could sign a new contract for a college football video game with EA Sports that does not include the NCAA name or logo.