On Wednesday, we learned that the NCAA would not renew their agreement with EA Sports for next year's college football game, setting off a firestorm of speculation that the series may be finished for good, or perhaps that future versions would lack official likenesses and names of college football teams, like older games from the Sega.
Today, video gamer football enthusiasts can breathe a sigh of relief. Polygon reports that EA has signed a new agreement with the College Licensing Company, or CLC, ensuring that we'll have football next year, and it probably won't be State College vs Columbus:
According to the CLC, the new contract with EA will take effect next July and run for three years. It gives EA the rights to use "more than 150 colleges, conferences and bowl games" in its college football video game series, said a representative for the CLC in an email to Polygon, confirming a Joystiq report from earlier today. There's no word yet on whether any schools have opted out of the new agreement. The agreement is non-exclusive because of the $27 million settlement in Pecover v. Electronic Arts, an antitrust lawsuit regarding EA's football games.
It is theoretically possible that a school may decide to opt out of the agreement, and it appears that schools will at least do their due diligence on the issue. When asked by USA Today, Stanford deputy athletics director Patrick Dunkley said:
"Given that the NCAA is taking the position that the legal risk outweighs the benefit, it's only prudent for us to analyze what the perceived risks are"
The new video game series will simply go by "College Football 15", and the only appreciable difference, right now, will be the lack of the word NCAA anywhere in the game. Whether other trappings of college football will be absent is yet to be seen, but for now, relax. Your option-heavy online beatdowns of 12 year olds won't be going away any time soon.