Electronic Arts announced in 2012 the return of their college football franchise, unofficially titled EA Sports College Football.
“For those who never stopped believing,” the company said in their announcement. “We’re blown away by your passion for EA Sports College Football. We look forward to sharing more information as development progresses in the next couple of years.”
Since then, the game’s Twitter account has seen nothing but radio silence. Until today, that is, with the news of the game’s delay until 2024. We’ll have to wait a little longer for the upcoming football game.
The Return to College Football Video Game Greatness Must Wait
“That’s the best date for us to bring the game that we think is going to meet or exceed our player expectations and cover the breadth and scale of what we want in the game. We’re trying to build a very immersive college football experience.”
“If you look back on where we were talking in 2021, that road was blocked,” he continued. “I think I even said something to the fact that we were passengers on this journey, just like anyone else. Well, the road’s open now, but it’s still under construction.”
One sticking point EA Sports is running into deals with securing the rights and likenesses for college football players. They intend “to work towards [using player rights] and find a meaningful way to include them in the game.”
Another issue concerns the likenesses of over 120 schools and college football teams. While Holt confirmed that EA Sports College Football would have the rights to all 10 FBS conferences and the College Football Playoff, some big names are still up in the air. Notre Dame, a football team that’s infamously fickle about maintaining their conference independence, was not confirmed by Holt.
“We expect more [beyond the 10 FBS conferences] will join, but we can only commit to what we have got in the hopper right now,” Holt added. “And we’ll have more information to share as we move forward along that evolving landscape. But we’ll put as many schools as we possibly can put into the game.”
Here’s What To Expect When EA Sports College Football Launches
It’s not all bad news, however, as they revealed some features we can expect. Dynasty Mode and Road to Glory, two marquee features of the EA Sports NCAA Football franchise, will return.
In terms of where the team is in terms of development, Holt confirmed with ESPN that the studio is in production, having completed both creative design and pre-production. It is being developed with the Frostbite Engine, which is also used for the EA Sports NFL franchise, Madden.
That doesn’t mean it will be a reskinned clone of the Madden franchise. Considering people are wondering if it’s time for Madden to quit while it’s ahead, a breath of fresh air will be welcome for a football video game.
“We want to make sure that it is distinctly uniquely college football,” Holt confirmed. “If someone’s worried about it being a clone of ‘Madden’ or something else, that’s not our intent and not the way we’re approaching this. I think people are going to be excited when the game comes out.
Holt wasn’t as forthcoming in terms of what to expect from the Dynasty and Road to Glory modes. He wants to ensure that the experience is compelling and focuses on the entire process of a college football recruit. The interview references the game mode starting with recruitment visits to college campuses and eventually having your player turn pro.
Integration with Madden was teased but not confirmed.
EA Sports College Football will release in the Summer of 2024 for Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5. More information will be revealed when it’s ready. Holt reiterates the team’s goal to ensure the college football experience stands out.
“You want team differentiation. You want wide open college gameplay, the stories of Saturday to come through. And it’s those types of things that I think become interesting when you realize we’re making a game, but it’s an interactive experience and it’s a reflection of someone’s passion and affiliation.”