Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Back to School: Electronic Arts Revives College Football Video Game Franchise

By James Brumley - Feb 2, 2021 at 3:18PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Questions that prompted the shutdown of the popular NCAA Football series remain somewhat unanswered.

College football's hiatus from the video-gaming market is ending soon. On Tuesday, video-game developer Electronic Arts (EA 1.96%) announced the revival of its exclusive collegiate football game franchise that hasn't released a new game since 2013 or sold one since 2014. EA is collaborating with the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) on the renewed effort to ensure the permissions needed to use team names and uniforms are properly procured.

The previous end of college football video gaming wasn't due to a lack of demand; Electronic Arts says its college football titles were typically among the best-selling games within the United States. Rather, complications with the uncompensated use of players' likenesses led to a lawsuit that in turn led to the decision to cancel the series. EA did not use specific players' names but did copy other details that strongly implied who a particular player was meant to be.

College football players tackling the receiver.

Image source: Getty Images.

The issue remains in legal flux. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is considering rule changes that would allow for such compensation, although some state legislatures, and even the U.S. Congress, are weighing new laws that also address the matter. In December, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker unveiled legislation laying out collegiate athletes' rights to participate in the monetization of their sport. Neither EA nor CLC offered specifics as to how potential rule changes might impact game-play, though it may be too early to provide such details.

While popular, college football video games aren't necessarily major growth engines for game developers. During 2014's player-compensation trial, EA's attorneys reportedly disclosed it was selling around 2 million copies of its NCAA Football games per year, driving about $80 million worth of annual revenue.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Electronic Arts Inc. Stock Quote
Electronic Arts Inc.
$127.39 (1.96%) $2.45

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 05/17/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.