There’s been a lot of headlines lately about the return of EA Sports’ college football video game.
On Tuesday, The Brandr Group sued EA over the company’s attempt to obtain NIL rights for players by circumventing The Brandr Group’s group licensing agreement with schools. front office sports The lawsuit was first reported. This comes after public backlash over how much players are paid to attend matches. Will this have any real impact on the game’s release? Probably not.
Here’s what we know:
When will the game come back?
On February 2, 2021, EA Sports announced that college football games would return for the first time since 2013. The news comes amid changes to the rules for names, images and likeness, allowing players to earn money for those rights. The NCAA formally cleared a deal with the NIL that summer.
The video game was shut down amid a lawsuit over the players and their NIL rights, particularly involving former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon. EA Sports said it was willing to pay players, and O’Bannon said he didn’t want the game to shut down just for players to make money. However, the NCAA was unfazed by allowing players to make money, and it ended because video games were the most public dartboard over compensation for athletes. EA Sports didn’t want to file any more lawsuits. While the old games technically didn’t have names for the actual players, their images and likenesses were evident. The settlement paid thousands of players an average of $1,600 (minus expenses and legal fees) and the game died.
After EA Sports made the decision to revive the game, a communication from EA to schools indicated that they planned to release the new game in the summer of 2023. In November 2022, the company announced the amount of work required to build a new game.
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How much will players earn in the new game?
In May, EA Sports announced a deal with OneTeam Partners for group licensing. This is a licensing move often used for team-wide personal NIL usage such as jerseys. Players only need to opt-in to join the game. OneTeam has previously worked with EA Sports to acquire group licenses for games such as Madden. on 3 players reported They’ll probably make about $500 each (estimated pool $5 million) without royalties.
The reported $500 figure has upset some player rights activists, but the media frame for the player boycott has never been accurate.Jason Stahl, Secretary General, College Football Players Association The players wrote that the game should be boycottedBut the CFBPA, not the players’ association, hardly has enough membership to carry out a boycott. Last year, Stahl tried to lead an ultimately unsuccessful organizing effort for Penn State football. There is no organization that represents the majority or even some of the college football players. There is no boycott, at least for now.
Stahl and Brand Group argue that players should have a greater say in contract terms, as there is no trade union to negotiate contracts. NFL players make thousands of dollars from Madden, but fewer NFL players than college players.
Why did The Brandr Group sue EA over the game?
Brandr Group, also a group-licensing company, was in talks to secure a college football deal for EA Sports. We partner with over 50 football schools including Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, Michigan and more. Depending on the school, The Brandr Group has “exclusive” or “preferred” group license rights. The company defines this as three or more of his players on a school team, or six or more of him in multiple sports, while using school imagery. Brandr Group says its athletes get 70% of his share of video games.
According to the complaint, EA told The Brandr Group in May 2022 that EA intended to contract “100 percent” through The Brandr Group to partner schools. But that didn’t happen in May 2023. EA Sports has partnered exclusively with OneTeam, so how will Brandr School players opt-in to the game?
Brandr Group alleges that EA has told Brandr partner schools that players can individually opt-in to the game without circumventing the Brandr Agreement. Brand argues this is tampering as the school is under pressure that it may violate the brand contract.
“TBG has heard from some partner schools that EA is putting pressure on schools that have not yet joined the game to approve them to join the game by June 30, 2023,” Brand said. The group alleges in lawsuits.
Brandr Group also claims it will get players better deals than OneTeam.
“As previously stated, our primary concern is to advocate for student-athletes and ensure that they have a voice and are duly represented in all matters related to the use of their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL). to ensure that,” the company said. statement on Tuesday. “We believe that student-athletes do not receive fair market value for their NIL rights and that the contractual rights sought may limit other NIL gaming opportunities. No further comment at this time.”
(Separately, EA’s agreements to use school licenses, such as logos, are made through the University Licensing Company or another group).
Is this really a player issue or just business?
Brandr Group’s public comments focus on the players, while the lawsuit is primarily about business. The company is not asking EA to stop the game or stop the NIL deal. The court acknowledged that The Brandr Group owns these exclusive rights and that EA works through Brandr with Brandr partner schools and players, and seeks monetary damages.
The allegations in this lawsuit are essentially as follows. If EA can circumvent our Group License Agreement and make Group NIL transactions, then the Group License Agreement is nothing.
Will this affect the game release?
It looks like the game is on schedule for summer 2024. This game doesn’t require a real player, but it’s what everyone wants. Not having it is not good for anyone. Brandr Group is not asking EA to stop making games, sports business attorney Mit Winter said. The Athletic An injunction to stop it is unlikely to succeed. This is primarily a sports business and licensing issue, not a game release issue.
Additionally, the process of uploading player likenesses doesn’t take nearly as long as creating the actual gameplay, allowing the game to download roster updates as needed.
What can you expect from the game?
As The Athletic and other media reported that the game will be built on the Madden Engine, with Road to Glory and Dynasty modes as the main focus. There will be a wide variety of uniforms, school-specific traditions and music. The game will also include a transfer portal and expanded college football playoffs.
(Photo by Edward Linsmire/Bloomberg via Getty Images)