College football fans, rejoice.
The return of college football video games—which have been on the sideline since NCAA Football 14—was already known to happen with a release set for 2024, but EA Sports College Football will now officially have player likeness, according to ESPN:
BREAKING: FBS football players will be able to be in EA Sports’ new college football game, I’ve learned.
EA Sports & OneTeam have partnered to handle NIL rights for any FBS player who is eligible to be in EA Sports College Football.
Details here 👇🏻https://t.co/FeUMftzMRB
— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) May 17, 2023
Previous games were reliant on custom, community-created rosters to have virtual players reflect their real-life counterparts, as the base rosters that released with the game would simply have the athlete’s position and number (for example, college football legend Tim Tebow wouldn’t officially be in the game, and it’d instead say “QB #15” for the Florida Gators).
But the ESPN report details the agreement struck with EA Sports and OneTeam Partners as they work together to “facilitate collegiate athletes’ names and likenesses” into EA Sports College Football. All eligible FBS players can opt in and will receive compensation for doing so—and we’d imagine there will be close to a 100% rate of opt-ins.
This also clears the issue of some teams (such as Notre Dame) saying they wouldn’t be involved in a game unless the NIL compensation was figured out, so this is the best possible news for gamers and fans seeking the glory days of a college football video game.
EA Sports College Football is set to be released in the summer of 2024.