The NCAA Football video game franchise may look a bit different in 2015.
The NCAA announced Wednesday that it will not renew its licensing contract with Electronic Arts, the video game manufacturer that makes the popular college football game, citing legal and business concerns, according to USA Today Sports. It seems that the NCAA is worried about how much it is racking up in legal fees dealing with a class-action lawsuit over athletes’ likenesses.
“We are confident in our legal position regarding the use of our trademarks in video games,” the NCAA said in a statement, “But given the current business climate and costs of litigation, we determined participating in this game is not in the best interests of the NCAA.”
The collegiate athletics governing body is embroiled in a federal lawsuit with former student-athletes alleging that the organization did not compensate the athletes for using their likenesses for financial gain in their video games.
Former college players and the NCAA are at odds over rules that ban student athletes from receiving any form of compensation other than education for their participation in college sports, even if their likenesses are used after they graduate.
If the NCAA were to continue their partnership with EA, it would give more athletes the opportunity to seek damages.
The partnership only granted EA Sports use of the NCAA’s logo and name — not the individual schools depicted.
“Member colleges and universities license their own trademarks and other intellectual property for the video game,” Warren Zola, a sports law teacher at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management, said. “They will have to independently decide whether to continue those business arrangements in the future.”
EA Sports issued a statement saying that it would continue to produce college football games featuring teams and leagues that customers “expect.”
Photo via Facebook/EA Sports NCAA Football
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