EA is getting set to release its first EA Sports College Football game since 2013 and just confirmed that it will feature the names and likenesses of real college athletes. This is a significant departure from the previous games, which could not feature real players due to NCAA restrictions. However, EA recently announced that it reached an agreement to use players' likenesses in the next EA Sports College Football title.

EA's College Football series started with Bill Walsh College Football, which released for the SNES, Sega Genesis, and Sega CD in 1993. The series became a yearly release, with EA changing the title to College Football USA in 1996 and NCAA Football in 1997. Because college football players are not professionals, the NCAA did not allow EA to use their real names, faces, or numbers. However, players in NCAA Football often bore a significant resemblance to their real-life inspirations. These similarities resulted in the controversy and lawsuits that led to NCAA Football's indefinite hiatus.

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However, the series will soon return, with EA announcing the new EA Sports College Football game in 2021. The company's reached an agreement with the NCAA allowing the company to use the likenesses of college athletes. Athletes must opt-in if they wish to appear in the new EA Sports College Football game and will receive compensation for their appearance. Players who do not want to appear in the game will have generic characters taking their place in the team.

EA Sports NCAA 14 players

On Wednesday, EA announced that it contracted the athlete marketing company OneTeam Partners to "facilitate" the athletes' appearances in EA Sports College Football. The terms of the agreement are reportedly still being finalized, so it's unclear how much each athlete will be paid or the structure that these payments would take. However, an EA representative told ESPN that the company would try to be "as inclusive and equitable as possible." OneTeam also said it would try to base licensing payments on how much each athlete contributed to sales. If that can't be calculated, then licensing fees would be evenly divided among participating athletes.

Some athletes may also have their faces scanned for their appearance in EA's upcoming College Football title. Unfortunately, this will not be possible for every participant due to the number of athletes in question. EA hopes to have every school who competes in the College Football Playoffs represented in the game. This means the long-awaited EA Sports College Football will include thousands of college football players.

Additionally, Wisconsin, Northwestern, and Tulane, who previously withdrew from NCAA Football, announced their teams would return in the new game. Notre Dame is also reportedly talking to EA about the school's return to EA Sports College Football. However, the university has yet to decide if its team will participate.

EA Sports College Football is in development.

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Source: ESPN