The FOIA request from Brown also revealed the royalty rate that schools will receive from the game, but the numbers have been hidden. The only percentage revealed was the percentage from a previous proposal, which was then 8.5% royalty rate.
“Some news: Like Notre Dame, Northwestern will not be participating in the next version of EA Sports College Football until rules are created and finalized that allow players to benefit financially from use of their names, images, performance histories, etc.,” Greenberg tweeted. “Notre Dame was the first school to publicly announce its decision to hold off on joining the 100-plus schools already signed on to participate. Northwestern made its decision last month, according to an athletic department spokesman…. “Illinois, like the vast majority of FBS schools, signed its commitment with Collegiate Licensing Company. According to a spokesman, Illinois is under the impression that, if new NIL rules are passed, EA intends to change its plan to include players with compensation….’Our approval allows Illinois to be included in the development process,” the spokesman said, “and we would be supportive of any changes EA may incorporate should NIL pass.’”
News initially broke in early February that the EA Sports college football video games was coming back. But while most fans and teams were eager to be back in the game, not everyone was all-in on the idea. According to Steve Greenberg of the Chicago Sun Times, Northwestern wants NIL rules to be created and finalized for players to benefit before participating. According to his report, Northwestern actually made the decision in February, based on the impending return of the game.
Fans were calling for the return of the game for years now and it appears that they will get their wish. To this day, fans still go in and update rosters on NCAA 14 that other players can download online.
Lawsuits over athlete likeness, including the landmark proceedings of Ed O’Bannon, ended the game’s circulation with the 2014 version, leading to widespread disappointment from gamers and sports fans across the country. The courts ruled EA Sports used athlete likeness without permission or compensation and the video game company eventually paid out $60 million in settlements to athletes who appeared in its games between 2003-14, according to CBS Sports.
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