The publisher points to ongoing litigation issues between the NCAA, the governing body of college sports, and current and former collegiate players who are suing for what they believe to be unfair business practices.
"Today I am sad to announce that we will not be publishing a new college football game next year, and we are evaluating our plan for the future of the franchise," said Cam Weber, the general manager overseeing the "NCAA Football" and "Madden NFL" series. "We have been stuck in the middle of a dispute between the NCAA and student-athletes who seek compensation for playing college football. Just like companies that broadcast college games and those that provide equipment and apparel, we follow rules that are set by the NCAA, but those rules are being challenged by some student-athletes."
Weber did not elaborate further whether there will be college football games in the coming years, or not. At stake between players and the NCAA is a share of the millions of dollars that the NCAA rakes in each year between sponsorships, television contracts and merchandising from various products, including sales of "NCAA Football." The largest case filed, Ed O'Bannon v. NCAA, seeks a class action status, which would allow other players who have brought their own lawsuits against the NCAA to combine them into one massive case. A decision on that has yet to be made.
The status of next year's "NCAA Football" game was put into jeopardy earlier this year when the NCAA announced it would no longer license college football games. The Collegiate Licensing Company, a company that works alongside the NCAA for licensing issues, announced it had reached an agreement with EA with more than 150 of its clients to continue the series. That maneuver ultimately fell apart when the Pac-12 and Big Ten confirmed they were also pulling out of all video games. Sources within EA Sports also told Kotaku another unnamed school had also pulled out.
What is also unknown is how this will affect developer Tiburon, which could possibly see cutbacks associated with the loss of the license.