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NCAA Football 14 News Post



Yesterday, Judge Claudia Wilkin granted $18.8 million of the $60 million of the EA/NCAA video game settlement to the plantiffs lawyers. That equates, as Jon Solomon reports, to 31.3% of the total money awarded to the Plantiffs.

Now that this part of the settlement is moving forward, we are still left with the age old question of when we can expect to see NCAA video games back on the market.

The answer, as we've reported on before, is simply whenever NCAA member schools decide to vote on the possibility of players being paid for their likenesses. It is possible EA and NCAA member schools could partner to create a generic college football video game (it won't be called NCAA Football as there is very little chance the NCAA and EA partner with each other again) -- but such a game would have to be completely clear of any possible litigation. That would mean completely generic rosters, no roster editing, and every detail managed.

The other option is simpler: NCAA member schools (at least the power five conferences) vote to allow for player likeness licensing in video games and then we're off and running.

For now, neither seems an immediate thing -- so we are likely still at least two to three years away from any return of college sports as AAA video game titles.

Game: NCAA Football 14Reader Score: 8/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PS3 / Xbox 360Votes for game: 52 - View All
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Member Comments
# 1 DBMcGee3 @ 12/11/15 01:25 PM
This would be a question for the lawyers I guess, but couldn't they just refrain from using "player likenesses" and allow people editing options? If every team was made up of generic players, so that none of the jersey #s or positions correlated with those in real life, would the athletes still have a suit?

Even if file sharing could only be done with flash drives or whatever, we could still get accurate rosters and the game developers wouldn't be in the wrong, would they?
 
# 2 MMChrisS @ 12/11/15 01:30 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DBMcGee3
This would be a question for the lawyers I guess, but couldn't they just refrain from using "player likenesses" and allow people editing options? If every team was made up of generic players, so that none of the jersey #s or positions correlated with those in real life, would the athletes still have a suit?

Even if file sharing could only be done with flash drives or whatever, we could still get accurate rosters and the game developers wouldn't be in the wrong, would they?
After this lawsuit, there is a 0% chance anyone from EA or the NCAA schools are going to risk a 'would they?' type of question legally. It'll be 100% certain either way that there are no possible legal issues before a game returns one way or the other.
 
# 3 Jadakiss88 @ 12/11/15 01:37 PM
If they just go with the plan of allowing the Institutions to decide if they want to participate I think it would work.

We have seen it work outside of Football with 2k16 so it definitely could work with a proper NCAA game. The only issue would be what schools couldn't afford to participate?
 
# 4 Vipertheshowoff @ 12/11/15 01:43 PM
We could only hope that in the next few years that they'll be another game haha. I know this has zero to do with this thread, but I was asking around and seeing if anyone has a dynasty that I can join. Preferably one that hasn't started yet or if it has, it is in preseason, and it doesn't matter what year.
 
# 5 OReilly10 @ 12/11/15 02:01 PM
It stinks that this was the last installment of NCAA Football. Like its a darn tragedy.

IMO game play-wise and presentation-wise, this game was a step back. The 2nd last release didnt have draft class export, so you had to go back to the 3rd last for decent presentation/gameplay... but then you have outdated graphics and importing draft classes into a poor Madden title.

The stupid videos with highlights of a game that hasn't happened yet to generic country music is so off-putting to me. Looooved the team-specific entries, shots of the stadium, etc. Game play is pretty poor IMO too. Defensive backs in particular seem to be wildly unpredictable.

Then you have the following year, new Gen consoles come out, along with the College Football playoff. We couldnt hold out for those things?
 
# 6 Junior Moe @ 12/11/15 02:11 PM
I'm glad this leg finally dropped. Now we are one step closer to clarity, and hopefully, a structure that allows NCAA Football to return. Like someone said before, EA isn't venturing back into these waters until there is 100% clarity. Can't blame them; this is a lot of money they just lost. Even if EA has billions. NBA 2K has found a way to do NCAA, but it is very limited. The prospect of NCAA Football on the XB1 with those Madden graphics and gameplay, ESPN presentation and Dynasty mode gets me geeked!
 
# 7 Crazy Packers Fan @ 12/11/15 02:45 PM
I was just thinking about this today. How great it would be to have NCAA Football back, with the College Football Playoff on the Xbox One. Hopefully they can sort things out in such a way that we get at least a game with real conferences and real bowls, even if the players are generic.
 
# 8 Burns2211 @ 12/11/15 04:33 PM
NCAA 14 was/still is my favorite game. There's something about college sports that the pro sports games just can't seem to capture. I don't know what it is. But here's hoping to NCAA Football and Basketball making a return in the near future!
 
# 9 Clemsonpanther @ 12/11/15 08:00 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vipertheshowoff
We could only hope that in the next few years that they'll be another game haha. I know this has zero to do with this thread, but I was asking around and seeing if anyone has a dynasty that I can join. Preferably one that hasn't started yet or if it has, it is in preseason, and it doesn't matter what year.
I have one. Ps3 PM me
 
# 10 Vipertheshowoff @ 12/12/15 11:02 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemsonpanther
I have one. Ps3 PM me
Not on PS3 man. 360.
 
# 11 phenom2311 @ 12/13/15 08:49 PM
No roster edit? LOL

Anyway, the solution is actually simple. Unwarranted fear and paranoia of litigation has set in though, and lack of innovators or forward thinkers will prevent developers, schools, and the NCAA from moving forward in creating a viable game.
 
# 12 jwilphl @ 12/14/15 11:53 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DBMcGee3
This would be a question for the lawyers I guess, but couldn't they just refrain from using "player likenesses" and allow people editing options? If every team was made up of generic players, so that none of the jersey #s or positions correlated with those in real life, would the athletes still have a suit?

Even if file sharing could only be done with flash drives or whatever, we could still get accurate rosters and the game developers wouldn't be in the wrong, would they?
This is generally correct. There was more to the suit than just the video-game related likeness, and though I haven't read every document related to the suit, the essential issue was whether the myriad of actors could legally generate revenues associated with the class members' likenesses. [From an anti-trust standpoint, this relates to group boycotts/refusals to deal. These "concerted actors" are acting to suppress the class' ability to sell their likeness and, in turn, the group reaps monopolistic-like rewards for the privilege.]

In addition, the court had to determine whether the NCAA's rules (regarding relinquishment of players' rights associated with these revenues) were "anti-competitive" in the sense that they were contrary to anti-trust law. The basis of the suit, at least from EA's standpoint, could be cured by getting away from the likeness of both current and former players, absent explicit contracts with each individual as opposed to "group licensing."

O'Bannon claimed the NCAA's practice of group licensing meant he could not individually choose to license himself out; this meant the supply of his license was restricted to the number of instances in which the NCAA/CLC chose to barter it, and in turn the price for his likeness was artificially inflated (basic economic supply and demand function). [In terms of anti-trust law, this relates to output and/or capacity restrictions which are illegal under the Sherman Act].

The problem, of course, from EA's standpoint is doing the roster manipulation. If they randomly generated all rosters, it would still be possible to end up with players that look similar to the real-life counterparts. They would likely want to vet each and every player on every team to make sure there is no possible likeness. There's almost always bound to be some overlap, though, and I think that's why many schools and the NCAA will be reticent to get back on board.

Of course a big portion of the problem was the historical teams, and those are most certainly gone for good. I believe this is where O'Bannon's standing arose from (his likeness being on one of the historical teams featured, and as he claimed without his consent and without him receiving royalties for the use).

An in-game editor would probably withstand legal scrutiny, as EA wouldn't technically be marketing players' likenesses and the NCAA would most certainly have nothing to do with the editor itself, but I think one could argue there's still a bit of a grey area. In my own opinion I don't think an editor is illegal per se, but it could possibly be challenged, and EA most certainly wants to avoid any grey areas.
  • For clarification's sake, anti-trust is not my field of expertise, but I do have some limited experience in it.
 
# 13 will72684 @ 12/15/15 03:17 PM
Why not just change the race of every player to a different one? White to black and black to white. Seems pretty simple to me.
 
# 14 Lucas_III @ 12/15/15 05:44 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by will72684
Why not just change the race of every player to a different one? White to black and black to white. Seems pretty simple to me.
Why not take it a step further and add all races to the game. (completely serious here) It definitely would give them more player face combinations to work with.
 
# 15 itsbigmike @ 12/15/15 07:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by will72684
Why not just change the race of every player to a different one? White to black and black to white. Seems pretty simple to me.
...Because they also use the players grade, number, equipment, handedness, height, weight and home state.
 
# 16 will72684 @ 12/15/15 08:11 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsbigmike
...Because they also use the players grade, number, equipment, handedness, height, weight and home state.

I get that but they could randomize all that information along with changing the race of each player.
 
# 17 redsox4evur @ 12/15/15 09:21 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by will72684
I get that but they could randomize all that information along with changing the race of each player.
Well they don't have the license anymore so.
 
# 18 itsbigmike @ 12/15/15 10:40 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by will72684
I get that but they could randomize all that information along with changing the race of each player.
But the market wants to play these games with the player's likeness in it and I'd venture to guess that the vast majority of the people who buy these games don't bother looking for roster downloads. Not having players likenesses in the games would hurt their sales.
 
# 19 scotchtkh @ 12/16/15 05:22 AM
Ahhh, it has hurt their sales. They no longer produce the game. I am sure, if they could legally get back into the game with license from the schools, they will produce this with out the NCAA title.

Most people, just want the chance to play with their school, at this point, not many people will care about the generic players.
 

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