NCAA says athletes can get paid; Paving way for ‘NCAA Football’ return

We’ve never been as close to the return of the EA Sports NCAA Football video game franchise than we are at this very moment. On Tuesday afternoon, the NCAA announced they have voted to allow student athletes to profit from their names, images, and likenesses, though the process will be regulated by the NCAA.

This announcement comes on the heels of California passing a bill last month that allows college athletes in the state to profit off themselves, a bill that began a movement across the nation that saw several other states begin discussion on enacting similar legislation. It appears the outside pressure from state governments finally pushed the NCAA over edge on this matter they were stringently against for many years.

The nuts and bolts of how this will work at the NCAA level have not been released in detail at this time, but what we do know is this, college athletes will soon be able to profit off themselves for the first time in history.

Per ESPN:

The board members said in a release Tuesday that all changes should make sure student-athletes have the same opportunities to make money as all other students, maintain the priorities of education and the collegiate experience, and ensure that rules are “transparent, focused and enforceable” and do not create a competitive imbalance. The board wants each division to implement new rules by January 2021.

If you look at your calendars, you will notice 2021 is only 14 months away, meaning student athletes could start receiving compensation as soon as next year’s College Football National Championship should things go according to pla.

For video game fans, especially fans of the EA Sports NCAA Football series, this announcement carries a little extra weight. Since the release of NCAA Football 14 in June 2013, the college football world has been without a video game iteration of the sport.

The game series was put on pause following NCAA Football 14 due to the ongoing debate over whether student athletes should be able to profit off their own likeness. That debate may now be coming to an end with the NCAA’s announcement on Tuesday. Opening the door for athletes to profit off their own likeness, could very well open the door to a return of the NCAA Football franchise in the near future.

Every year, EA Sports released its annual NCAA Football game in mid-June, during what is often a dead period for new game releases. The series became one of the company’s most popular products and the thirst for a new version is at an all-time high.

How thirsty have players become for a NCAA Football game? Well let’s just say some creative types may have already mocked up a few potential cover art ideas should EA revive the franchise.

 

Today’s news generated almost immediate buzz on social media about what it could mean for the series going forward. No one from EA has commented or will likely comment on the matter until all the details are ironed out, but this certainly looks like the closest we’ve been to a new game in years.

It’s long been believed once the NCAA allows athletes to profit off themselves, a return of the NCAA Football franchise could follow. With the NCAA doing their part in the matter, hopefully it’s only a matter of time until EA Sports follows suit.

Robbie’s E3 Top Five

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Via e3expo.com

Perhaps the biggest event in the video game community kicked off over the weekend in Los Angeles. The annual E3 convention took place with developers from across the video game world taking the stage to unveil their newest projects to gamers across the globe.

EA kicked things off on Saturday with their own EA Play event then the actual E3 event began with Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Ubisoft, and others all showcasing their next batch of great content for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a casual gamer or playing for hours a day, there was something for everyone at this year’s expo.

For myself personally, there was A LOT of reveals and new information for games I play regularly. After watching all the conferences and reading all the details about the upcoming year of games, I settled on my top five best games from this year’s E3.

Battlefield V

Publisher: EA

Platforms: PS4, Xbox 1, PC

Release Date: October 19, 2018

About two weeks before EA Play rolled around, Battlefield V was revealed with a trailer but very few details about the gameplay. Now, thanks to their portion of the EA press conference, we have more details about the game along with another trailer.

Battlefield V will jump ahead in time but still remain in the past with a World War 2 setting. It’s predecessor, Battlefield 1, took the franchise back to World War 1 after fans clamored for trip back in time after years of futuristic shooters.

Much of what made BF1 so successful will carry over to BFV and in some cases on a much grander scale. The development team announced they will be telling the untold stories from the Second World War and the new trailer shows gameplay from a map based in Norway.

We will surely learn more information about BFV in the coming months leading up to its release in October. From what we have seen and heard so far, I am very excited to see what EA does in a World War 2 setting.

Fifa 19

Publisher: EA Sports

Platforms: PS4, Xbox 1, PC

Release Date: September 28, 2018

For years, EA Sports’ FIFA series has been the premier soccer video game on the market. From its licensing to its gameplay, no one could keep up. The only thing that was missing was the premier club soccer competition in the world, the UEFA Champions League.

FIFA’s biggest competitor, Pro Evolution Soccer, held the exclusive Champions League license. To compensate, FIFA had the “European Cup” in their game but it never had the feel of an actual Champions League match. Generic logos, fake trophy, and worst of all no famous Champions League music.

That’s all changing now because EA Sports snagged the exclusive Champions League license and will have the competition in its signature title beginning in September with FIFA 19. The game’s reveal trailer dropped during EA Play and it features all the sights and sounds of a Champions League match.

As someone who may have been on the fence regarding this year’s FIFA game, this news puts me firmly in the “must buy” camp. Developers also revealed the game will feature a special Champions League tournament mode where players can customize their own tournament and play through to the championship match.

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2

Publisher: Ubisoft

Platforms: PS4, Xbox 1, PC

Release Date: March 15, 2019

When I saw the news Ubisoft was releasing a new Division game I was somewhat surprised. Their first installment of the series was plagued with bugs and never received the hype many thought it would.

Personally, I was a big fan of the first game and I’m glad to see a sequel forthcoming. I am admittedly not a huge fan of co-op games but there is enough single player activities to keep me invested in the long run.

Division 2 will head to Washington D.C. where the virus from the first game has spread and the nation’s capital is in shambles. You and your fellow Division agents must work together to take back the city and save it from the brink of collapse.

Developers also revealed all new content for the game will be free during the first year, meaning no season pass for The Division 2 and that is a welcome change for all gamers.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Publisher: Ubisoft

Platforms: PS4, Xbox 1, PC

Release Date: October 5, 2018

I have been an avid Assassin’s Creed player since the first game debuted all the way back in 2007. Over the past decade the series has taken players through the Middle East, Renaissance Italy, Constantinople (Modern day Istanbul), The American Revolution, pirating in the Caribbean, the French Revolution, Industrial Revolution London, and Ancient Egypt.

Last year’s edition of the game, Assassin’s Creed Origins, was the earliest dated game in the franchise going back to the days of Pharaohs and Kings in Ancient Egypt. This year’s game, titled Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, will go back even further to Ancient Greece in the 5th century B.C.E.

For the first time you will be able to choose your player, a man or woman, and play through the whole game as that character. The game will also be more of a true RPG than in the past where the decision you make actively influence the storyline of the game.

As a hardcore Assassin’s Creed fan, this new edition of the game has me excited. Exploring different periods and different places has always been a fascination of mine. Going back to Ancient Greece and interacting with the great philosopher Socrates or training as a Spartan means I’m all in on this title.

Super Smash Brothers

Publisher: Nintendo

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Release Date: December 7, 2018

If you have ever listened to our podcast you will have heard us talk about our desire to have a Super Smash Bros. game for the switch. Our prayers were answered in March when Nintendo announced the game was coming to their newest console.

At E3, Nintendo took it a step further with a full showcase dedicated to the upcoming game due out in December. They revealed the full roster of characters and it is everyone you expect to see in a respectable Smash Bros. game. Over 60 playable characters were revealed with some new faces joining the fray.

We also got a sneak peek at some gameplay and from what was shown it looks absolutely stunning. From our brief look, this appears to be everything we hoped for and more. Based on the reactions from the online community this is a game everyone will be rushing to grab on release day.

After months and months of hoping and praying Smash Bros. would come to the Switch, it’s nice to see Nintendo superseded even our wildest expectations for the game.

What Else I Liked

  • Bethesda gaming studio announced a new Elder Scrolls game is in development.
  • I don’t own an Xbox but Halo has always been a favorite of mine and the new game looks impressive.
  • The same goes for the newest Forza game.
  • Sony looks to have another winner in The Last of Us 2.
  • Nintendo hit a home run with the Smash Bros. reveal but don’t sleep on Mario Party.
  • Ubisoft’s Skull and Bones was nice to look at and is a game I could see myself jumping in to.
  • Improvements to Star Wars Battlefront 2 are welcome but perhaps too late to save it.
  • News of a single player driven Star Wars game made me feel all sorts of ways. Too bad we have to wait until holiday 2019.

Picking just five games from this year’s E3 conference was extremely difficult. It’s a good thing Rockstar didn’t show up and just play footage from Red Dead Redemption 2 because that’s all I would have talked about.

One thing is clear though, whatever your gaming tastes are, the next year of video game releases is going to have something for everyone. It’s safe to say, the video game industry may be better than its ever been before.

NBA Live’s lifespan may prosper while living in the past

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It’s been sitting in my modest office/gaming area for the past five weeks. Not long enough to collect dust – at least a visible layer, which is surprising because I’m a horrible housekeeper – but still an awfully long time for a purchase I just *had* to make. I popped it in my PlayStation 4 just to dump the data onto the hard drive on the day I purchased it, but with my job and in recent dealings to find myself after a not-so-great August and September, it sat there.

Even through October as I regained myself and started finding joy in life again, it chilled patiently along with my copies of NBA 2K18, NHL 18 for the PS4 and the recently snagged Super Mario Odyssey for my Nintendo Switch.

Eventually I’ll play it.

Hopefully it’s good enough that I’ll be forced to play the hell out of it.

I don’t need it to be some kind of unforgettable gaming experience, I just need it to be good.

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