EA Sports signs deal to keep using college team names, CLC confirms

EA Sports

It seems little will change about the nature of EA Sports' college football video games, despite the NCAA's decision to pull their affiliation in the wake of the O'Bannon lawsuit.

EA Sports will continue to make a college football video game that uses real school branding, as the company has reportedly reached a three-year deal with the Collegiate Licensing Company despite the NCAA ending its deal with the video game maker.

Update: The CLC tells Polygon the deal is done.

Some wondered about the future of the college football series after Wednesday's news that the NCAA would not continue to supply its logo and trademarks to EA Sports, likely due to the O'Bannon vs. NCAA suit which features former and current players suing the NCAA over lack of royalties from inclusion in the games.

However, as Jason Kirk quickly pointed out, the lack of NCAA involvement would mean very little for the actual series of video games. The name of the games will obviously change from "NCAA Football (YEAR)," but school names and insignia are licensed by the CLC, not the NCAA, and conferences, players, bowl games, the upcoming College Football Playoff all operate independently of the NCAA, as does ESPN's coverage of college football, which is a major part of the presentation of the games. Little besides the four-letter abbreviation and the NCAA logo on the cover would be removed from the games.

EA Sports has already said it'd continue making the games.

The new deal will begin on July 1, 2014, meaning the next video game in the series would be made under the new contract. This deal is not exclusive, as earlier deals with EA Sports had been, meaning a competitor could hypothetically make a new line of college football video games.

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