BY GRIF PRITCHARD
SPECIAL TO THE EAN
It’s coming back! This is not a drill!
Also … a 40-year-old man shouldn’t be this excited about a video game.
Tuesday, around midday video game developer EA Sports sent out a tweet that broke the internet. Well, not really broke the net, the conspiracy theorists still need their platform and hamfisted theories proclaiming election fraud and how fried chicken served at Baptist Church gatherings is somehow more sanctified than others.
Back to the tweet – EA announced that they are reviving their long dead NCAA Football franchise.
People have literally kept their Playstation 3s just so they can play NCAA 14, which is the last time the game was produced. I am one of those people. Through the years and the moves, the only PS3 game that I still have is NCAA 14 and am currently playing it.
I’m legit surprised that a groove hasn’t been worn into the disk.
Also … If sony was looking for even more of a sales pitch for their PS5 … the digital home of the EA Sports College Football (the new name) game is a big one.
Now – according to ESPN – the breadth, shape and scope of the game is yet to be determined. But judging by the social media reaction – they won’t have any problem selling it.
Texas A&M’s Twitter literally responded with new pictures of their stadium saying they’d gladly send whatever is needed to make this game more of a reality.
Some of you are sitting here thinking – so what, it’s just a video game – and you’re 40. You’re a man. Video games are for children.
Um .. no .. you can take that noise somewhere else.
A little history to put things into perspective. According to ESPN: EA Sports announced it would stop making its college football game in 2013 shortly before the company agreed to pay part of a reported $40 million to former college players to settle a lawsuit filed by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon. The lawsuit argued that it was illegal for EA Sports to sell a game with characters that looked strikingly similar to real athletes without paying those athletes.”
Now .. sportsfans … raise your hand if you remember Ed O’Bannon?
My point exactly. I can’t fault the dude’s want to get paid, however, he should have been a better baller and he would have made it into the League for more than a cup of coffee and a hearty slap on the butt.
The official position … aside from cursing O’Bannon’s existence … was to say “(EA Sports said) ed production because the NCAA and some conferences were no longer interested in licensing their logos and names to the game makers, which prevented them from creating an authentic experience.”
I’m not saying that the NCAA is a money hungry bunch, but if it walks and talks like a duck then it’s a duck.
What’s interesting is to see the amount of bells and whistles that were new in the 2014 game – the option and a multitude of Oregon uniform combinations – evolve into the new game.
Look at the way Madden – which has to an extent some element of the college football experience in its Face of Franchise mode – has evolved its overall presentation and gameplay. The college football experience will be brand new to a crossover audience of fans, gamers and dads with mancaves.
This may be the only way Tennessee football becomes relevant again.
It’s that simple.
Grif Pritchard is a veteran newspaper/sports writer who lives in Tallassee.