EA College Football is making a comeback according to EA Sports, though there’s no firm release date scheduled yet. Here’s everything we know about EA College Football based on official information, traditions, rumors, and what we expect to see.
EA College Football is a highly anticipated release because it’s been missing for so long. College football fans have been waiting since 2013 for a new college football game for Xbox and PlayStation. While EA Sports is being shy about EA College Football’s exact release date, at least we know the game’s in the works.
EA Sports’ surprise announcement about the new College Football game didn’t have a lot of information. Unfortunately, it will likely take months, perhaps even years, for EA to outline College Football’s release timeline and more details.
There are some added complexities since college football players are not professionals like the players portrayed in Madden 21 and other popular EA Sports games.
- EA College Football Launch Date
- EA College Football Release Date
- Real Teams in EA College Football
- Real Players in EA College Football
- EA College Football Cover
- EA College Football Price
- EA College Football PS4 & Xbox One
- EA College Football PS5 & Xbox Series X
- EA College Football iPhone & Android
- How to Play College Football on Xbox and PlayStation Right Now
Here’s a closer look at when you can expect the EA College Football release date, what features to expect, which consoles it will be on, and an estimated launch date.
EA College Football Launch Date
The initial EA College Football announcement was light on details and that means you can expect a much bigger launch announcement down the road. A launch date means when EA will begin its full-on marketing push and the game is almost ready.
For now, one of the only official announcements we’re seeing from EA Sports is the below tweet and a press release.
— EA SPORTS (@EASPORTS) February 2, 2021
You can expect a future announcement to include EA College Football pre-orders, pre-order bonuses, EA College Football editions, and more. Unfortunately, a full-blown launch could be years out.
EA Sports vice president and general manager Daryl Holt told ESPN the company doesn’t have “a date where the return will be announced.”
If you see EA College Football pre-orders popup at a retailer or via a site like eBay, you’ll want to hold off and wait for the official EA College Football release details.
EA College Football Release Date
EA College Football will not be released in 2021, putting the earliest possible release date sometime in 2022. While gamers are eager to play EA College Football, the release we do know one thing for sure: It’s not coming out this year.
While many gamers were hopeful we’d get a new college football game in time for the upcoming college football 2021-2022 season, that’s out the window.
Holt tells ESPN the game is still very early in its development. The company is currently “building out the team and deciding what direction they want the game to go in.”
EA says the game will primarily be built by Electronic Arts’ Orlando studio. EA Tiburon is the same studio that develops the Madden series.
EA Sports typically releases sports games just before their corresponding real-world seasons begin. For example, EA Sports released Madden 21 on August 28, 2020, just over two weeks before the 2020-2021 NFL season kicked off.
So, the earliest we would expect to see EA College Football is sometime in August 2022 and that timeline already looks like it’s out the window.
We’re blown away by your passion for #EASPORTSCollegeFootball. We look forward to sharing more information as development progresses in the next couple of years.
— EASPORTSCollege (@EASPORTSCollege) February 2, 2021
In the tweet above, EA notes that it will be sharing more information about the game as it works through development over the “next couple of years.” This implies the game could be several years away from hitting the market.
The company made similar comments in the game’s official press release. The press release notes that development of the game is “just underway, with launch timing still to come as the project progresses in the years ahead.”
In the same release, EA Sports EVP and GM Cam Weber states that the team “is eager to bring a new game to players in the next couple of years.”
According to internal documentation from CLC that I obtained via Open Records request, the CLC told FBS institutions that EA Sports intends to release the new video game in "July of 2023".
— Matt Brown (@MattBrownEP) March 11, 2021
Reporter Matt Brown has unearthed a potential EA College Football release date and EA’s supposed release lines up with the information its released thus far.
According to internal documents from the CLC, EA Sports currently plans to release EA College Football in “July of 2023.” That could certainly change, but a release next year appears unlikely.
Real Teams in EA College Football
According to Holt, EA Sports has partnered with collegiate licensing company CLC to make sure the company has the ability to bring FBS schools, traditions, uniforms, and playbooks to EA College Football.
This means the game could have over 100 teams in the game though it may not have all of them.
EA Sports has reportedly partnered with the Collegiate Licensing Company to license FBS schools’ trademarks to revamp EA Sports College Football.
CLC was founded by former Alabama AD, Bill Battle.
As of now, current NCAA athletes won’t appear in the games.
— Alicia Jessop (@RulingSports) February 2, 2021
According to an ESPN report, Notre Dame won’t “provide its name, logos and other branding property to EA Sports.” That could change, but the school says it won’t “until new rules that determine whether athletes will be able to receive a cut of the game’s profits are finalized.” Notre Dame is one of the biggest brand names in college football.
According to Chicago Sun Times columnist Steve Greenberg, Northwestern has also decided to opt out of the game until “rules are created and finalized that allow players to benefit financially from use of their names, images, performance histories, etc.”
Tulane’s decided to opt out of the game for the time being. The school made the announcement on its Twitter account in late February.
We will ALWAYS be the biggest advocates for our student-athletes.
— Tulane Green Wave (@TulaneAthletics) February 26, 2021
Fresno State, a member of the Mountain West conference, has also decided to opt out of the game for the time being. The school also made an announcement on Twitter.
Standing with our student-athletes. A statement on the return EA Sports NCAA football. pic.twitter.com/JnTSuozzrK
— Fresno State Bulldogs (@FSAthletics) March 5, 2021
In addition, it looks like Michigan is currently undecided about whether to participate. BYU, Hawaii, and Kentucky have reportedly taken a similar stance and USC says it hasn’t “reached a licensing agreement with EA Sports/CLC that is acceptable to USC.”
Penn State says it will participate in the game if certain conditions are met. The school will follow the game’s progress and says it will withdraw if it doesn’t meet university standards.
Out of the 130 teams in FBS, 118 are part of CLC. Here are the 12 teams that currently aren’t part of the CLC:
- Air Force
- Arizona State
- Georgia State
- New Mexico
- Notre Dame
These teams haven’t been ruled out and the schools are able to sign their own agreements with EA. Clemson and USC did just that as both were included in Madden 21’s Face of the Franchise mode.
NEW EXTRA POINTS:
I obtained a copy of the EA Sports College Football video game sent to FBS schools. It includes a proposed release date, info about roster customization, DLC, and other stuff consumers might be interested in:https://t.co/62cUhNaniK
— Matt Brown (@MattBrownEP) March 11, 2021
Brown has also obtained a copy of EA’s proposal that it sent to colleges. It outlines the game’s target release date as well as some of the features EA’s hoping to include in the title.
Real Players in EA College Football
While real college teams will be in the game, it’s unclear if EA College Football will include real players. As of right now the game won’t.
According to ESPN, EA Sports is “planning to move forward without rosters that include the names, images or likenesses of real college players.”
That’s because current NCAA rules prohibit athletes from selling their NIL rights while they’re in college. That could change in 2021 or 2022 as there are evolving NCAA regulations, federal laws, and state laws.
EA says it’s monitoring the NIL legislation progress and that if the situation changes, the game will evolve with it. The company also says this decision-making won’t have any bearing on the game’s release. It’s a go with, or without, real players.
Even if EA’s unable to include real players in the base game, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to download rosters created by the game’s community.
EA College Football Cover
NCAA Football 14, the last college football game released by EA Sports, featured Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson. Robinson was selected via fan voting and he was chosen over other marquee names at the time.
If EA is allowed to use real players, we could see the company take a similar approach to the EA College Football cover.
If not, we’ll likely see a generic player or a composite image of more than one player on the EA College Football cover.
EA College Football Price
EA hasn’t confirmed the EA College Football price, but here are a few things you can expect based on EA’s approach with other games like Madden and FIFA.
Assuming EA launches multiple EA College Football editions, we’ll likely see tiered pricing starting at $60. That’s how much the base versions of Madden 21 and FIFA 21 for PS4 and Xbox One cost without a deal.
If EA offers bundles with extras, you can expect those to cost more. The Madden 21 Deluxe Edition retails for $79.99 while the MVP Edition retails for $99.99.
It’s also worth noting the base version of Madden 21 for Xbox Series X and PS5 retails for $69.99 or $10 more than a standard copy for Xbox One and PS4.
If EA decides to release EA College Football for last-generation consoles, we could see it use a similar price structure. Those details, of course, won’t come until the company is ready to announce the game.
EA College Football PS4 & Xbox One
Now that the game’s official, many people are wondering about a potential EA College Football release for PlayStaton 4 and Xbox One. EA hasn’t confirmed either way, but there’s a very good chance we see a launch on those consoles.
Microsoft and Sony launched their Xbox One and PS4 consoles back in 2013. The consoles replaced the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It would be foolish for EA Sports to limit College Football to the latest consoles as it would be missing out on sales to the millions of people that haven’t upgraded to the PS5 or Xbox Series X.
Madden 17, which arrived in 2016, was the last version to support PS3 and Xbox One. FIFA 19, which launched in 2019, was the last version of the game to support the PS3 and Xbox One.
So while nothing is confirmed, EA’s sports games have a history of supporting older consoles and that bodes well for those still holding onto a PS4, PS4 Pro, Xbox One, Xbox One S, or Xbox Series X.
EA College Football PS5 & Xbox Series X
That said, if you want the best version of EA College Football, you’ll need to own a newer console like Sony’s PS5 or Microsoft’s Xbox Series X.
While a release for older platforms is still up in the air, EA College Football will definitely come to current-generation consoles like the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.
Holt tells ESPN that conversations about bringing the game back started a year ago and that the “technology they’ve seen on Next Gen platforms like the Sony PS5 and Xbox Series X” helped spur them along.
EA isn’t talking about the game’s features yet, but you can expect the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions to include at least some of the advancements we’ve seen in the next-gen versions of Madden 21 and FIFA 21.
EA College Football iPhone & Android
It’s unclear if EA will provide a college football experience to iPhone and Android users.
This is especially true if EA College Football features an Ultimate Team (MUT, FUT) experience that lives and breathes on micro-transactions.
How to Play College Football on Xbox and PlayStation Right Now
If you want to play college football on a console right now you’ll need a PS3 or Xbox 360.
NCAA Football 14, the last game in the series, isn’t backwards compatible with newer consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X and never will be.
If you still own one of these consoles and you’re interested in playing, you can still find NCAA Football 14 through retailers like Amazon.
You’ll be happy to know there’s still a thriving community that supports the game with new roster updates to help keep it fresh.
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