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 Change.org’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.

Gaming

Open-world video games are getting too big for their own good

As technology has progressed, open-world video games have grown increasingly bigger. What seems like a universal positive has shown problems preventing the genre from truly moving forward, however.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this summer with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

Stream till you scream with the best scary movies on Netflix, Hulu, and more

Need some ghoulish entertainment to get in the Halloween spirit? Check out some of the best horror movies streaming now. Whether you like creepy atmosphere or bloody jump scares, you'll find something to spook you.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix in October, from 'Mindhunter’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in October, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Black Panther’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, subdued humor, or anything in between.
Mobile

Put your iPad Pro to the test with these great games

Did you recently purchase a 10.5-inch iPad Pro, or are you enjoying the 12.9-inch version? If so, we've rounded up a few of the best iPad Pro games currently available on Apple's mobile platform.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

The Oculus Rift is cheaper, the Vive Pro is better. Is the original Vive still worth it?

The Oculus Rift may have brought virtual reality into the public eye, but HTC’s Vive, built in partnership with Valve, does it better. Does the Vive still represent the true future of virtual reality, or are there better competitors on…
Gaming

As deaf gamers speak up, game studios are finally listening to those who can’t

Using social media, personal blogs and Twitch, a small group of deaf and hard-of-hearing players have been working to make their voices heard and improve accessibility in the gaming industry.
Computing

Nvidia is slowly rolling out its next generation of GPUs. Here's what you need to know about them

Nvidia's new RTX 2000 series graphics cards are impressive pieces of hardware, with some amazing advancements and some rather high price tags to match. Here's everything you need to know about Nvidia's new top-tier cards.
Gaming

Grab a comfy saddle — ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ campaign clocks in at 60 hours

According to Rockstar Games co-founder and head writer Dan Houser, Red Dead Redemption 2 features a 60-hour story. Houser said "superfluous" content was removed from the game. It launches October 26 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Gaming

Jump into an internet DeLorean and play free Commodore 64 games online

The Internet Archive has added more than 8,800 full Commodore 64 games to its software library. Here's how you can play them completely free in your browser without the need for a joystick.
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ in-game tournaments will give you the chance to beat the pros

Epic Games is introducing in-game tournaments to Fortnite. The initial schedule includes five tournaments, with commemorative pins going to the victors. Down the road, the pins might grant you access into additional rounds.
Gaming

Here's how you can keep up with your favorite streamers at TwitchCon 2018

From sessions with your favorite streamers to epic Esports tournaments, there's plenty to look forward to at this year's TwitchCon 2018. We cover how you can attend, where you can watch if you can't, and which events you don't want to miss.