It’s been close to a decade since what would be the last annual installment in the NCAA Football franchise was released, as EA Sports was essentially forced to abort the beloved series in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that determined it had illegally harnessed the name, image, and likeness of college athletes.
However, fans of the video game got some fantastic news in the wake of another Supreme Court ruling that opened the door for its return when the publisher announced it was planning to bring NCAA Football back from the dead.
The reboot was originally slated to make its debut this summer, but last year, EA Sports announced it had opted to push the release to 2024.
You could argue that was a theoretically promising development that would give the production team more time to ensure the newest version will be able to live up to the lofty expectations surrounding it, and while insiders seem optimistic that will be the case, it’s become increasingly hard not to wonder if things are slowly but surely falling apart.
The reason NCAA Football went into hibernation in the first place was an issue concerning compensation; EA Sports technically could’ve (and still can) release a game with rosters filled with generic names and faces, but getting to play as real, actual college football players is a major part of the appeal.
However, earlier this month, the de facto union that is the College Football Players’ Association revealed it was concerned about a plan that would reportedly involve players receiving a fairly modest sum of $500 for being included in the game—and it appears that’s not the only group that feels it leaves a bit to be desired.
According to Front Office Sports, the Brandr Group (which the outlet says represents the interest of around half of the athletes who would appear in the title) has become the latest entity to push back against EA Sports, with CEO Wesley Haynes saying the organization is “concerned about several aspects” while stressing “It appears to be a fraction of maybe what fair market value would be.”
The fact that money could end up derailing the NCAA Football reboot shouldn’t necessarily come as a huge shock to anyone familiar with the general philosophy of capitalism, but it’s still not the best development for a game that’s still in development.