ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit is irked that the NCAA Football video game series from EA Sports is still out of commission.
The game was discontinued – or put on hiatus – after EA Sports settled a class action lawsuit by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon, who also filed against the NCAA. The NCAA lost the initial case and is in the process of appealing the decision. In the meantime, the most popular college football video game on the market was left in limbo much to the chagrin of gamers, including Herbstreit, who blames the game’s demise on O’Bannon.
“Ed O’Bannon ruined that for all of us,” Hebstreit told SEC Country.
At the heart of the lawsuit was athlete compensation for the use of their likeness in the game. O’Bannon’s lawyers argued that EA Sports was making millions off a game that was popular because of student-athletes that received no money.
Herbstreit contended players didn’t care about the use of their likenesses; they just loved the game.
“I’ve never met one player in college football that’s like, ‘They can’t use my name and likeness! I need to be paid!’ ” Herbstreit told SEC Country. “They’re just thrilled to be on the game. They love being on the game. It’s like the biggest highlight of their life, is to be on the game.”
Herbstreit does have a stake in the former EA Sports franchise since he was one of three announcers in the game and was compensated for his work.
The franchise has been dormant since its last release in 2013, though EA Sports’ Facebook page teased fans last week with a video of a heart monitor coming to life. The page contended it was the game’s way of displaying its excitement for the national title game and not a sign of the game’s resurrection.
“I can’t believe Ed O’Bannon took that game away from us,” Herbstreit said.
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