USA TODAY International Edition

EA Sports will reboot football video game

- Lorenzo Reyes

In a move that’s already lighting up the gaming world, EA Sports announced it would be rebooting its popular college football video game that had been discontinu­ed since 2013.

According to ESPN, a return date hasn’t been set. The game will not be available for the 2021 season.

“As we look for the momentum that we’re building on in sports, it all starts with the passion of our fans and the opportunit­ies of what they are interested in,” EA Sports vice president and general manager Daryl Holt told ESPN. “I don’t think a visit where I go outside wearing a piece of EA Sports branded apparel, that someone doesn’t go, ‘ Hey, when is college football coming back?’ ”

EA Sports has partnered with CLC, a collegiate licensing company, so that it could include the Football Bowl Subdivisio­n programs, uniforms, traditions and playbooks, according to ESPN.

More than 100 teams will be available.

The series was discontinu­ed as the debate over student- athletes being compensate­d for their names, images and likenesses ( NIL) continued across the country and in legislativ­e bodies. The old video game franchise did not use college football player names, but the roster closely mirrored the actual ones with player numbers and positions tied to general physical appearance­s of those playing on fields on Saturdays.

Holt told ESPN that EA Sports would monitor changes to the NIL rules but that the game would proceed either way.

“We make sure we deliver what our college football game players would want in a game. And that starts with just a very immersive experience and there’s lots of things we can do to bring the true college game play and game day to the virtual world.”

ESPN said the franchise will be branded as “EA Sports College Football.” ESPN also reported that the game is in its very early developmen­tal stages.

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