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EA Sports’ NCAA Football video game coming back in 2024

Andrew Buller-Russ

While they’re not for everyone, it’s hard to deny the impact video games have had on millions of games around the world. In the sports world, it’s helped fuel the passion for competitive gaming not only on the sticks but also during actual competition on the field of play too.

Some of the most popular games have included the NCAA Football series, which used to be made by EA Sports from 1993 to 2013. Unfortunately, production ceased nearly a decade ago, and college football fans have been without a video game to play ever since.

While pro football fans have always since had Madden NFL games to enjoy each and every year, many other gamers refuse to pick up the product. Perhaps they’re bitter about losing out on one of their favorite franchises, with NCAA Football ceasing production, or maybe it’s because the NFL version continues to feel a bit stale, with similar gameplay carrying over from year to year, along with endless amounts of glitches and bugs.

But no matter what, when NCAA Football was in production, people didn’t really care about any in-game mishaps. Well, they did, but it’s much better than not having a game to play at all.

After nearly a decade without being able to play with their favorite college football teams, the long wait may finally be nearing an end.

Rumors of EA Sports making another NCAA Football game have been in the works for some time now, but we finally have a more concrete release date. According to EA Sports vice president and general manager Daryl Holt, a new college football game is planned for a summer of 2024 release.

This is a bit of a delay from the previous suggestions pointing to a summer of 2023 release. Yet, again, fans don’t really care. They don’t want a broken product, they want it done right. If that takes an extra year, so be it. This still beats the alternative of no game at all.

NCAA Football game to include real player likenesses, names

NCAA Football: Austin Peay at Alabama
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

See, anyone can simply make a football game, but the issue is, no one really wants to play it without being able to enjoy their favorite athletes. When college football had issues paying players for the rights to use their name, image, and likeness (NIL), the NCAA Football game went away.

Now that NIL deals have literally changed the game, everything is different. Now video games can also secure the rights to have access to players such as Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, and Hendon Hooker.

Imagine wanting to play with Alabama or Tennessee but not being able to enjoy the mobility or throwing excellence Young or Hooker offers? No thanks.

But that won’t be a problem in NCAA Football going forward. While Hoyt mentioned they’re still working on securing college football players to be used in the game, it is their intent. They’ve already secured the rights for at least 120 FBS schools.

Related: Heisman Watch 2022: Latest Heisman odds, Week 13 Heisman Trophy rankings

What to expect from NCAA Football video game in 2024

Syndication: Gator Sports
Doug Engle / USA TODAY NETWORK

Past gamers that enjoyed the NCAA Football video game series will be happy to hear several of their familiar game modes are returning in 2024. This includes Dynasty mode and Road to Glory, but the development team stressed their biggest focus centers on making Dynasty mode their best offering.

Gamers can choose from any of the FBS schools in the game and control them for multiple seasons, handling everything from coaching hires, player recruiting, uniform designs, and more.

If you want to take the Alabama Crimson Tide and run them into the ground, you can. Alternatively, if you want to take Appalachian State and turn them into a powerhouse, go for it. This is a video game. That’s what they’re for.

The game will also feature the transfer portal, allowing increased player movement from year to year.

In Road to Glory, gamers have the option of creating a single player and controlling him from a third-person perspective throughout his entire college football career. Past versions have also allowed gamers to import rosters from NCAA Football to Madden, meaning you can take your freakishly sized players from college and transfer them to the pros, hoping to land them in the NFL Draft.

With Madden still going strong and NCAA Football set to return in the near future, the pairing of these two football games will only continue to help grow the popularity around the world, and that should be considered a big win. Even if many of us still spend too much time on the couch in front of the screen. You don’t have to commit to playing eSports competitions to have fun, yet we can all agree it’s nice to have more options when playing video games.

Now the biggest question is, who will be on the cover of NCAA Football 2024? Which cover athlete will reign supreme? We’re likely still a long way from finding out.

Related: Most Heisman Trophy winners from college football’s elite schools