The National Collegiate Athletic Association has decided to not renew their contract with EA Sports to develop games based on their license. In a statement published on their website, the NCAA cited increasing litigation costs as a factor in their decision.
“The NCAA has made the decision not to enter a new contract for the license of its name and logo for the EA Sports NCAA Football video game. The current contract expires in June 2014, but our timing is based on the need to provide EA notice for future planning. As a result, the NCAA Football 2014 video game will be the last to include the NCAA’s name and logo. We are confident in our legal position regarding the use of our trademarks in video games. But given the current business climate and costs of litigation, we determined participating in this game is not in the best interests of the NCAA.”
EA Sports has been embroiled in lawsuits regarding the unauthorized use of atheletes likenesses for NCAA Football series, the Madden NFL games, and NCAA Basketball. EA argues that the use of the players’ likenesses is covered under the First Amendment.
EA may be able to secure separate license rights from individual schools or through the Collegiate Licensing Company, but any game produced under those rights cannot be called NCAA Football.
(Thanks to ByteSizeRick)