On a day when the NCAA handed down one of the most unprecedented punishments to Penn State University, I’m surprisingly not going to weigh in with my thoughts. SImply put, it is disgusting and no matter what the NCAA ruled, it wasn’t enough. Nothing could be enough.
In news that doesn’t make my blood boil, EA Sports has announced it will not extend the NCAA Football franchise’s exclusive rights when it expires in 2014. This means that anyone else would be allowed to create an NCAA football game if they acquire the license to make it.
This comes in conjunction with a long standing lawsuit from consumers over the legality of exclusive deals with Madden and the NCAA. The settlement will pay out a few bucks to those who purchased football games since 2006. It also means EA Sports cannot sign an exclusive agreement with the Arena Football League, which most people probably weren’t even aware still existed anyway.
The better news for consumers is that the possibility of multiple NCAA Football games will soon exist. It doesn’t mean EA Sports will discontinue the franchise. In fact, it is entirely possible they still don’t have competition. It opens the door for 2K Sports to get back into football however. It is widely debated that NFL 2k5 remains the greatest football game ever. In fact, it is said that NFL 2k5 (and its $20 price tag at the time) was the reason EA Sports signed the deal with the NFL.
As a longtime NCAA Football fan, this is great news to me. The game has grown terribly stale. Defense is still deplorable (and identical to the past five iterations), the AI can’t run or defend the option properly and bugs continue to plague the series at launch each year. In fact, NCAA 12 was NEVER fixed despite several patches.
NCAA 13 was released recently to a mostly negative reaction from reviewers and fan forums. Madden has made minor positive strides after a few extremely lackluster years and NCAA fans appear to be fed up with it. The most enjoyable NCAA I can remember is still on the last generation Xbox.
Knowing the option for improved and alternate NCAA Football games in a couple years is a great feeling. Now if only SOMEONE would put an NCAA Basketball game on the market.