8 years later, NCAA video games have returned



Fan created possible cover for the next ncaa football game

Nick McDonald, Assistant Editor

Everyone loves a bit of nostalgia now and then, and for gamers who enjoy sports, that comes with playing NCAA football games. From Road to Glory, to Dynasty, to just a classic exhibition game, NCAA 14 and the rest of the series have something for everyone.

After discontinuing the series eight years ago, in 2013, EA Sports announced that the next NCAA football game is in production. This is long awaited for sports and video game lovers; the past NCAA games have been known to be some of the most popular games ever, selling more than 1 million copies, according to ESPN.

It is still very early in the development process, so it’s unknown what new additions to expect in the game. However, it is likely that EA Sports will keep some of the most popular modes, such as Road to Glory, when players  create their own custom character, Dynasty, taking control of any team you want and forming them into a powerhouse, and Mascot Mash-Up, a more fun and wacky mode, in which you play your friends as mascots of your team. A potential new addition could be EA Sports’ Madden game mode, Face of the Franchise, another career game mode, but with more of a story.

Although there is no set release date, it is likely that it will release mid to late 2022. This may be disheartening for fans who expected it to be sooner, but they’ve already waited eight years; one more won’t be too bad.

The death of NCAA video games stems from the former Arizona State and Nebraska QB Sam Keller and UCLA PF Ed O’Bannon. They both filed lawsuits against EA Sports for using their image and likeness. This resulted in bringing the production of the game and future games to a stop, as well as $20 million dollars given to Division I football and basketball schools involved in these video games.

EA Sports has confirmed that over 100 schools will be featured in the game, but it is unknown how or if EA plans to use players’ names, image, and likeness in their games, but just knowing another NCAA game is coming is very exciting for fans. Even without using actual college athletes’ names or likeness, many gamers create their own custom rosters that display real players and are downloadable for everyone.

Who the cover athlete might be is another big debate. There are many options and rumors about who it’s going to be. Most think either former LSU QB Joe Burrow or former Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence are the most likely options, but there’s so many possibilities.

The first NCAA game, College Football USA 97, starred Nebraska QB Tommie Frazier on it’s cover, and many past cover athletes have been Heisman winners, such as Michigan DB Charles Woodson, USC QB Carson Palmer, and Florida QB Tim Tebow. Many football players dreamed of being on the cover as a kid, so whoever it is will have a big honor.

The most recent NCAA football game, NCAA 14, with former Michigan QB Denard Robinson as the cover athlete, is a very sought after game. On eBay, it’s difficult to find it for under $60, and on Amazon it’ll cost you even more. The game is also only on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles, so unless you kept your old console, it’s going to set you back quite a bit more if you’re chasing that nostalgic feel.

During quarantine when everyone had quite a bit of time on their hands, dusting off the old Xbox and NCAA 14 was common. Milford Senior Ben Morgridge exclaimed, “Logging on to the game and creating my Ben Morgridge character gave me the same excitement as it did as the first time I played.”

Although much is unknown, years of waiting and wondering when the next game will come is finally answered. Fans everywhere are excited; after nearly a decade, the wait is over.