Taking things for granted is always exposed in hindsight. For example, the uproar over EA Sports’ seven year hiatus from college football games proves that the value of something is never quite appreciated until it is gone. EA Sports and the NCAA first partnered up in 1997 to create the first NCAA Football game which was dubbed ‘NCAA Football 98’ as the product was set to release prior to the 1998 college football season.
The two corporations teamed up to make an installment of the video game every year until 2013 when they released ‘NCAA Football 14’ which was the last to be made.
As of last week, EA Sports has announced that they will be returning to college football and partnering up with the NCAA to create a new edition of the beloved college football style video game.
Fans expecting to purchase games titled “NCAA Football” should soften their expectations. EA Sports is back and they are working with the NCAA to input real schools, uniforms and playbooks into the game but unlike the early versions of the game this installment will be titled “EA Sports College Football.”
Unfortunately, college athletes are unable to receive an income from their on-field performances so there will be no player likeness representation in the game, but that is something that NCAA Football fans are accustomed to.
The question that fans should be bringing up does not pertain to the likeness of current college players in the game but the likeness of a recently graduated football player being represented on the cover. From Charles Woodson, on the cover of NCAA Football 99 to Dennard Robinson on NCAA Football 14’s cover, there has always been a player who had just graduated from college and was currently in the NFL on the front of an EA Sports college football game. Apart from the 2006 edition.
Will there be a graduate from the 2020 class to grace the cover? Perhaps an NFL player currently in the league who graduated between the years in which the game was on hiatus? Or maybe, for the second time ever, the game will go a different route and put an all-time college football ‘great’ on the cover. The first chosen for the front of NCAA Football '06 was Desmond Howard, 1991 Heisman Trophy winner.
The game is only going to be available on next ‘gen’ consoles such as the Xbox X series and PlayStation 5, but there is speculation that it could be available on Android, iOS and Windows sometime after the initial release date. The release date is still unclear at this time, but the game has been in the works for months now with no setbacks.