Electronic Arts won't release a college football game in 2014, for the first time in more than 20 years. EA Sports' Cam Weber, its GM of American Football, wrote on the company's news blog that ongoing litigation and related changes in business relationships led to the decision.
"We have been stuck in the middle of a dispute between the NCAA and student-athletes who seek compensation for playing college football," Weber said. "For our part, we are working to settle the lawsuits with the student-athletes. Meanwhile, the NCAA and a number of conferences have withdrawn their support of our game. The ongoing legal issues combined with increased questions surrounding schools and conferences have left us in a difficult position--one that challenges our ability to deliver an authentic sports experience, which is the very foundation of EA Sports games."
EA previously said losing the NCAA license would not mean an interruption in the series, only that its next entry would not bear the association's name. Weber said the company will try to retain the developers behind the NCAA series by redistributing them throughout the EA Sports label.
Weber said the decision won't have any affect on EA's ongoing support for NCAA Football 14.
EA has published a college football title annually since it shipped Bill Walsh College Football for Super NES and Sega Genesis in 1993. It picked up the NCAA license starting with NCAA Football 98.