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An end to gridiron gridlock? EA exec discusses return of 'NCAA Football' series

Electronic Arts chief competition officer Peter Moore discussed the current status of the publisher’s dormant NCAA Football series in an interview with IGN this week (via Gamespot), revealing that the college sports sim franchise could make a triumphant return “one day.”

Moore also discussed the legal issues that doomed the series in 2013, noting that settlements for affected players are still being worked out by EA’s legal team.

Related: The NCAA says goodbye to EA Sports, but the show will go on [UPDATED]

The National Collegiate Athletic Association dropped its decade-spanning licensing agreement with Electronic Arts in 2013 following a series of player lawsuits over their featured likenesses. NCAA Football 14 marked the final release for the long-running series, which saw its genesis in 1993’s Bill Walsh College Football for 16-bit consoles.

“We are confident in our legal position regarding the use of our trademarks in video games,” the NCAA stated afterward. “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.”

During this week’s interview with IGN, Moore revealed that NCAA Football’s ongoing legal fees vastly outweigh the potential for revenue, turning the series from a popular favorite to a losing venture over the course of just a few weeks in 2013.

“Settlements are still going out so it’s tough to get into a lot of detail,” Moore said. “But what happened was NCAA Football became the lightning rod for bigger issues regarding college athletes getting paid for their performance in not only football but all college sports.”

Moore continued: “It was a sad day when we realized, ‘We are in the sights of a number of lawsuits.’ It was a sad day. When your lawyers fees are more than the revenue that you can expect to get in…”

Despite the series’ legal setbacks, Moore expressed confidence in the series returning in the future, though he did not identify a specific time frame.

“One day I know we’ll be back,” Moore said.