College Football 2015: As EA Sports Ditches NCAA Label, Will New Series Feature Revised Playoff System?
According to USA TODAY Sports, EA Sports has yet to inquire about using the new College Football Playoff in their game next year.
Michael Kelly, the chief operating officer of college football's new playoff system, said that EA hasn't gotten in touch with the committee in charge about the system being included in the game.
"Until we get started we haven't talk about what we'd license and what we wouldn't," Kelly told USA TODAY Sports. "Of course we'll license more typical merchandise, but we haven't gotten into (the video game issue). We haven't discussed if we'd even want to. On one hand it would be great, but with the issues at hand you just don't know."
The NCAA announced earlier this month that they would not renew their contract with EA Sports after 2014. The decision is based on the pending lawsuits from former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon, former Arizona State quarterback and former Rutgers quarterback Ryan Hart. The lawsuits, against both the NCAA and EA Sports, challenges the collegiate organization and video game maker in how they use player likenesses and make a profit while the players receive nothing from the revenues.
Two weeks ago, six active college football players joined the lawsuit.
After the NCAA announced their intention to not continue their relationship with the company, EA Sports released a statement saying that they intend to continue producing college football games, with the next installment being called "College Football 2015." It was also announced that EA Sports and the Collegiate Licensing Company had agreed on a new contract, which could help EA get a game off of the ground without the NCAA.
The CLC represents more than 200 colleges, conferences and bowl games for the use of their names, logos, mascots and stadium images.
For EA Sports to use the College Football Playoff in "College Football 2015," they will need to negotiate a licensing fee. The playoff, which is set to begin in 2014, will include two semifinals games and a national championship game featuring the winners of the semifinal matchups. Kelly said that the organization isn't far enough along in the process to discuss licensing or anything with EA Sports.
"And they probably know that," Kelly said. "I would imagine it will be (done) this fall, but I can't tell you we've written the dates down. It's important. We want to get it done this year if we can. We're going to get a lot of stuff behind the scenes done this fall. We'll proceed cautiously and this year we want to totally celebrate the last year of the BCS (Bowl Championship Series) anyway."
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