Last year, EA Sports shocked the gaming world when it announced the return of its beloved NCAA Football franchise under the new moniker of EA Sports College Football. With the recent changes surrounding the NIL rules, the series has never been in a better position to bring fans what they truly want. It’s finally possible for players to work hand-in-hand with a game like EA Sports College Football and profit off of the interaction while simultaneously bettering the game for diehard fans.

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While the perfect conditions are now met, there is still a whole decade of amazing players that never saw themselves in the franchise. With improvements to EA Sports’ player likeness system, it has never been easier for the studio to integrate past players into the game. The result is the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to great players while doing service to a franchise that was put on the back burner for almost a decade.

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There’s no question about the passion of college football fans. In the intervening years, while the NCAA Football franchise was on hiatus, fans regularly appealed to the company to bring the series back. Even when NCAA Football was put in a poll against its peers — beloved franchises like SSX, Fight Night, and NBA Street — the overwhelming majority voiced their support for the return of college football. Now, after nearly a decade-long wait for fans, EA Sports has to deliver a title that is worthy of the franchise and meets the high expectations of nostalgic fans.

The aforementioned changes to the likeness system in EA Sports College Football present the perfect opportunity to integrate the best-performing players of the past decade or so. Unlike other games where fan service may be welcome but incidental to the success of the title, including fan-favorite players in a title intended for ultra-passionate college football fans is a surefire way for EA to garner enormous appreciation for relatively little effort.

Of course, it would be an enormous undertaking to include entire teams from past years, but EA could likely get away with handpicking only the top 10 or so players from each of the years since NCAA Football 14 was released. Even if EA included a superstar team of sorts, consisting of only a few players at each position as an attempt to pay homage to past players, the effort would go a long way with fans.

Including Past Players Could Be a Smart Marketing Tactic

With the release of each Madden game, NFL players take to social media to either show off or criticize their in-game ratings. It’s a full-blown tradition associated with the title at this point, and assigning ratings to past players in EA Sports College Football would likely drum up the same sort of controversy. If players thought that EA Sports nailed their in-game rating, it would likely be brought up in some fashion. Similarly, if they were unhappy with how their college career was ranked compared to their peers, fans would probably hear it as well. Either way, the inclusion would likely generate the same brand of self-perpetuating publicity that the Madden franchise enjoys.

Whether past players are included or not, the reaction of current NCAA players to their ratings will likely have the same effect, but the potential of having current NFL stars like Justin Jefferson, a vocal fan of the Madden franchise, speaking out about EA Sports College Football could only aid the revival of the franchise. Not only that, but it could potentially pull fans that are typically solely focused on the NFL to be interested in a college football game so that they can revisit the early days of their favorite current players.

EA Sports College Football is currently in development.

MORE: All the Features Confirmed for EA Sports’ New College Football Game



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