Unless you're not a gamer, you've probably heard the news by now. EA Sports has canceled their wildly popular NCAA Football video game series, and has settled with various athletes and former athletes, who were suing over lack of payment for their likeness in the games.
Back in July, the NCAA pulled out of their licensing agreement with EA, likely to protect themselves from further litigation, forcing EA to tentatively rename the series EA Sports College Football. Later, the SEC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 followed suit, which would have prevented the video game series from using those conference's respective trademarks. It was widely believed that one major college team also pulled out of the game series.
Was that team....Ohio State? At least one sports video game journalist thinks so. Owen Good, from Kotaku, who was interviewing an EA developer who lost his job after the series was canceled, wrote the following:
It's unclear how much of this was actually being prepared for next year's game. Howell cautioned that the customization was at a big picture stage, though he and Luhr had design documents dozens of pages thick laying out these features. If College Football 15 could have shipped, with them, the depth of customization—and the ability to share uniforms, complex logos and user-built stadia—could have soothed the sting of conferences like the Pac-12 and Big Ten pulling their trademarks from the series, and a big program—believed to be Ohio State—exiting it altogether.
If that's true, it would be unfair to say that Ohio State killed the video game series, but they might have given it just the tiniest little nudge.
Full details of the settlement have not been announced, and won't be for 30 days, so we won't know the long term fate of the franchise. For now, hardcore gamers will have to settle for the 2014 version, and hope things turn out for the best with O'Bannon.
Would you play a college football video game if it didn't have Ohio State in it?