Gamed: EA cancels its college football series, and the NCAA could pay the price

gamed ea cancels its college football series and ncaa could pay the price

After years as BFFs, EA Sports and the NCAA have broken up. The love affair between the two companies that began in 1997 has come to a close, and that runs deeper than the loss of the “NCAA” name on EA’s college football games.

For years, EA Sports has been a defendant in a lawsuit, along with the NCAA and the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC). The organizations have been the target of student athletes, current and former, over the use of the athletes’ images without their approval and without any compensation. This week though, EA and the CLC announced that they were settling all outstanding lawsuits, shelling out $40 million. Shortly after that announcement, EA also confirmed that after 20 years it would be ending its college football franchise.

You can’t blame EA for the decision to kill the franchise. The series sold well, but nowhere near the numbers that the almost-identical Madden does. The suit probably did manage to send several children of lawyers to college thanks to all the associated legal fees, but the problems of continuing the series outweighed the benefits. Plus it left EA’s name on a potentially high profile lawsuit.

The lawsuit is heading to the Supreme Court for what will be a major ruling, the type that will define legal precedent for years and that Fox News will somehow, bafflingly, find a way to blame on Obama. It’s kind of like when you have a friend that is a real prick. They keep dragging you into terrible situations because of their own issues, and then you end up being the one people yell at. There comes a point when you have to accept that your friend sucks, and you should just walk away. EA did that, and it brought the CLC with it, leaving the NCAA – the a-hole friend in this analogy – on its own. I bet EA and the CLC’s lawyers even high fived after deciding to settle all the lawsuits.

The decision removes EA and the CLC from the drama and headaches that the NCAA are ultimately responsible for. It’s also part of a bigger question about how the NCAA can monetize student athletes. When the lawsuit started by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon does reach the Supreme Court, the case could end up having massive ramification to the way the NCAA does business. The NCAA, EA, and the CLC have been arguing that they are defended under the First Amendment. With the CLC and EA settling, the NCAA has lost two of its biggest partners in that defense.

The legal argument has been a long time coming. The NCAA has made money off of student athletes for decades without offering those athletes a penny. It even punishes anyone that tries to make cash outside of its control. It will soon have to argue that its policies are legitimate in front of the Supreme Court, and now it won’t have the deep pockets or resources of EA.

Hot Coffee and News

Rockstar breaks 450,000 hearts

Grand Theft Auto 5 Right to bear arms

The petition to bring Grand Theft Auto 5 to the PC has reached 450,000 signatures, making it’s tenth biggest petition of all time. Rockstar meanwhile issued the following statement: “Your tears taste so sweet,” before laughing maniacally.

Vavle does it again

wallpaper_half-life_2_Vavle had a huge week, debuting a new operating system, controller, and a whole line of Steam Machines. But no Half Life 3. Not that there was ever any reason to think it would be announced. Not that anyone can even confirm the game is still in development, not definitely. But, ya know, there were three announcement. Three… One day. One day. 

Phil Harrison does it again

xbox-one-release cat 2The Xbox One will allow you to record your gameplay. Not only will you be able to add commentary to the clip before uploading it, you can record for as long as you want. Maybe. This fairly innocuous detail came from Microsoft VP Phil Harrison when he said gamers could capture “as much or as little as they want.”. Or at least that’s what he said at first. In keeping with what is becoming Microsoft tradition, he then claimed he was misquoted. It’s like Microsoft is just trolling us now.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.


‘Mortal Kombat 11’ is even gorier and crazier than we expected

NetherRealm Studios unveiled Mortal Kombat 11 on January 17 and the game looks to be just as gory and over the top as fans have come to expect. Former MMA fighter Ronda Rousey will appear as Sonya Blade.

Console wars are so last-gen. Check out all the games that support crossplay

Crossplay is still in its infancy, but a growing number of games support online multiplayer between competing platforms. Here's a list of all games that support console crossplay.

Want to trick out your PlayStation 4? These themes will get you started

Personalize your gaming experience with some of our favorite themes for the PlayStation 4, including free, paid, static, and dynamic options.

Play your games whenever you want with a MicroSD card for your Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch uses cartridge-based games, but its internal storage may fill up quicker than you would think. Here's what you should consider when picking out a MicroSD card to expand your Switch's storage capacity.

Get your pilot skills up to snuff for this week's 'Fortnite' challenge guide

The Fortnite season 7, week 7 challenges are now available. The major challenge this week requires you to visit all the Fortnite expedition outposts in the game and we walk you through how to get to each.

Get extra life with our tips and tricks for 'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe'

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is a much more difficult game than you'd believe based on its adorable art style and 2D perspective. Here's how you can master the game's toughest challenges.

For Netflix, ‘Fortnite’ on YouTube is a bigger threat than HBO

In a letter to shareholders, Netflix explained that it views the video game Fortnite as bigger competition than HBO, with YouTube videos of the game drawing viewers away from the streaming platform.

Find all of the secret exits and world skips in 'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe'

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe has two distinct Mario experiences in one package. In this guide, we'll show you how to find all of the secret exits in New Super Mario Bros. U, that lead to hidden levels and let you skip worlds.

Find all of the secret exits and world skips in 'New Super Luigi U Deluxe'

Just like all other 2D Mario games, New Super Mario Bros. Deluxe includes secret exits and world skips. In this guide, we'll show you how to get to all 12 secret exits in New Super Luigi U.

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

You could be gaming on AMD’s Navi graphics card before the end of the summer

If you're waiting for a new graphics card from AMD that doesn't cost $700, you may have to wait for Navi. But that card may not be far away, with new rumors suggesting we could see a July launch.

Sharing your best gameplay moments is quick and easy on the Xbox One

The current generation of consoles make it easier than ever to share your gaming highlights with the world. Here's a quick guide on how you can record a gameplay video on Xbox One.

Blizzard’s latest hiring spree is likely for the unannounced ‘Diablo 4’

Activision Blizzard is hiring for more than a dozen positions on unannounced Diablo projects. Some of the roles are likely for the unannounced Diablo 4, the next mainline entry in the series.