EA Sports Is Bringing Back NCAA Football – What Are The Broad Implications?

In case you haven’t heard the glorious news yet, EA Sports has announced that it will be bringing back its discontinued but beloved series of college football games. According to Yahoo! Sports, the series might be back as early as 2022, and will feature real teams, conferences, and uniforms (though not real players as of now).

This is a tremendous development for gamers and college football fans alike. But it’s also a development with some fascinating broader implications.

You Can Play as The Ducks!

What could possibly sound more fun for a Ducks fan than taking control of the program and returning it to the top of the college football ranks? Answering questions for 2021 is probably out of the question given that 2022 is likely the earliest point at which we’ll see a new college football release. But aside from the fact that we can’t wait to play, the timing doesn’t matter. Whenever this game comes out, fans will be able to take the reins of their favorite programs in what should be an impressive modern console game with plenty of realistic features. It’s pure fun that can’t be overstated.

There Could Be a Mobile Counterpart

If you were to seek out college football games in your mobile app store, you’d find a few unofficial options, the best of which is PikPok’s gridiron strategy game, Rival Stars College Football. It’s actually a worthwhile game, but still one that’s very far from the real thing. Meanwhile however, if you look to the best console sports franchises today — Madden, FIFA, and NBA 2K — you’ll notice that they all have mobile counterparts. There’s every reason to suspect that this would apply to a renewed NCAA Football series as well, at least in time. So, just as you’ll be able to control the Ducks on your console of choice, you may soon have realistic college football gaming in your pocket as well.

There Could Be Slots as Well

Americans aren’t always as familiar with online slots as with, say, mobile games. Furthermore, it can be difficult to get a feel for this category with a cursory glance around the internet. When you find the games that really define said category though, you can begin to see it as another intriguing outlet for newly licensed NCAA football gaming. The slots section on Foxy Games has essentially managed to collect the most noteworthy games from different developers and sites, and so serves as a helpful snapshot of modern slot gaming. And within this section, you’ll find games based on sports (like grand prix racing, horse racing, and martial arts) as well as others employing licensed material (from Justice League to The Terminator). With licenses secured to use team and conference material, EA Sports could easily launch an NCAA Football slot reel that would both expand interest in college football abroad and get American gamers to engage with online casinos.

Progress for College Basketball?

Many college sports fans in Oregon and elsewhere will also take the EA Sports announcement as an indication that a college basketball game is on the way as well. To be clear, no such game has been announced yet, and it’s clear that football is the priority. From a licensing perspective though, there doesn’t seem to be anything standing in the way of an NCAA basketball renewal as well. So, here’s hoping we can soon play our way through some March Madness action as well!

Moving Forward in the Fight for Likenesses

Most important of all is that this all appears to be bringing us a step closer to paying college athletes for their representation. As one examination of implications of the EA Sports announcement put it, the new game “has the great potential to expedite the process of forcing NIL to come into effect” (NIL standing for “name, image, likeness”). There are already ongoing court cases and internal NCAA deliberations that could nudge us toward NIL agreements, and the pressure to include real players and likenesses in new video games could help to push these along.

Add all of this up and it’s clear there’s really no downside! This is a fantastic development for college sports fans, and potentially for the athletes as well.

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