A top executive at video game giant Electronic Arts believes his company’s NCAA Football franchise will someday make a return.
Peter Moore, EA’s former chief operating officer and current "chief competition officer," sat for a lengthy interview with IGN (below) and, around the 56:00 mark, delved into the college football game all of us so desperately miss.
EA nixed the game after NCAA Football 14’s release in 2013. The franchise was embroiled in a controversy over EA and the NCAA’s profits off of player likenesses, which appeared in the game even as college sports’ governing body wouldn’t allow the players to be paid.
The disappearance of the game sounds like it was a blow to the people who built it.
"It was an unclear future for us," Moore told IGN. "It was a really sad day, and we said, 'We just can't do this anymore.' And one day I know we'll be back."
Both the NCAA and EA have faced legal action stemming from the lack of player compensation, and players began to get settlement checks in the mail earlier this year.
There’s tons of money to be made on the game’s return, but the powers that be will need to figure out some way to legally (and, ideally, equitably) share in the resulting wealth. That’s been a stumbling block since the game went away.
More from Moore, via Polygon's Owen Good:
"NCAA Football became the lightning rod for bigger issues regarding college athletes getting paid for their performance, not only in football but all college sports. And their likeness. It was a sad day when we realized, 'We are in the sights of a number of lawsuits,'" Moore said. "A number of athletes, which were all combined eventually into one singular suit, and said, 'That's me.'"
It got to a point, Moore suggested, where EA had to spend more on legal fees from the game than it would've earned in revenue.
Players shouldn't have their likenesses used for free. Gamers who want to guide Eastern Michigan to a Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff shouldn't be deprived any longer. Let's figure this out.